Election riggers should be banned for life – Prof. Itse Sagay
Foreign countries pushing for Nigeria's break up? >> Page 16
Vol. 1. No. 25.
June 4 — 11, 2013
Nigeria’s first free newspaper
Suspicious boxes excavated from Abuja’s Amigo supermarket S
ecurity officials who have been doing a semiexcavation work on Amigo supermarket in Abuja say they have unearthed ‘boxes’ whose content are yet to be identified and disclosed. The boxes have been taken to the head office of the Department of State Security Service, SSS, in Abuja, an official of the agency, involved in the excavation, told news men. Security officials are currently excavating some parts of Amigo, one of Abuja’s biggest supermarkets, and Wonderland Amusement Park, Abuja’s largest amusement
park, in search of likely weapons. Security officials sealed off Amigo supermarket and Wonderland on Friday last week after a co-owner of both outfits was declared wanted for allegedly being part of a Hezbollah Lebanese terrorist cell in the country.
How kids were recruited to burn schools in the North
23 million dollar bounty for AQIM, Boko Haram bosses
n an unprecedented move, the United States on Monday posted up to $23 million in rewards to help track down five leaders of militant groups accused of spreading terror in west Africa. The highest reward of $7 million is offered for the Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau, who last week called on Islamists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to join the bloody fight to create an Islamic state in Nigeria. The US State Department’s Rewards for Justice program also targeted Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), offering its first ever bounties for wanted militants in west Africa. Up to $5 million was posted for Al-Qaeda veteran Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed Islamist behind the devastating attack on an Algerian gas plant
A day before , the Joint Task Force in Kano said it uncovered a bunker beneath a house in Kano where heavy ammunition including anti-tank weapons were stored. The JTF said it arrested three suspected who mentioned the Amigo owner as part of their network.
in January in which 37 foreigners, including three Americans, were killed. A further $5 million was offered for top AQIM leader Yahya Abou Al-Hammam, reportedly involved in the 2010 murder of an elderly French hostage in Niger. Malik Abou Abdelkarim, a senior fighter with AQIM, and Oumar Ould Hamaha, the spokesman for Mali’s Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), were also targeted by the rewards program, which will give up to $3 million each for information leading to their arrests. “AQIM has been increasingly active in north and west Africa. They’re one of the pre-eminent kidnap for ransom groups in the terrorist world right now,” a senior State Department official told AFP,
asking not to be named. “They cause us a great deal of concern. Anything that we can do naturally to cut down on the capabilities of AQIM, anything that we can do to get information on these people so that we can get them in front of a court... That is our goal.” The United States has been increasingly worried about the spread of Islamist groups in Mali and across the vast and lawless Sahel since a military coup ousted the government in Bamako. Former colonial power France has led a military offensive since January against the militants in Mali’s northern desert, as the west African nation prepares for presidential elections on July 28. There are fears however CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
ome kid suspects released by military authorities in Maiduguri last week confessed that they were paid them N5,000 each to burn primary schools and spy on soldiers in the on going insurgency in Northern Nigeria .Their ages range from 10 to 14 years. The kids are among 23 women and 35 children released to the Governors of Borno and Yobe states by the Commander, 21 Armoured Brigade, Maiduguri, Brig-Gen. R.O Bamigboye, on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sa’ad Ibrahim. The children, whose ages range between nine and 15 years, said they were given jerry cans of petrol by suspected Boko Haram operatives and sent to burn schools in both states. Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, government officials and journalists listened in bewilderment as the children narrated how they burnt schools and spied on soldiers. According to one of the kids, they were taken to the Yobe
State capital, Damaturu, and told to spy on soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force and report back to the Boko Haram commanders. He said, “We were taken to Damaturu. We watched out for the soldiers at their unit and reported back to them. We were reporting either when soldiers were at ease or enjoying themselves and when they were off guard and we were paid for doing that.” Another child suspect said, “I usually helped Boko Haram to leak information on military activities so that they could attack them (soldiers). My last job was to travel from Maiduguri to Gashua to spy on soldiers before I was caught.” Another kid said “We usually help Boko Haram to carry stolen items each time and sometimes help them to give information about people they want to attack and sometimes even help to hide their guns after attacks. They pay us N5000 after every operation. I regret what I did, I CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Thinking peace with the children By Isiaka Aliagan
hese past months, we have all lived in fear. Although respite is within sight, with the declaration of state of emergency in three volatile states of the north, we cannot all forget in a hurry the deluge of violence that has claimed many lives and led to wanton destruction of property in our nation. While the madness subsisted, very few considered what danger these orgies of violence portend for our children. We also did not consider that some innocent souls might be getting poisoned by the din of hate that has become the mantra of some, while the nation bled and nursed its festering wounds. No doubt, after the war on terror is eventually won, we would return to peace, to healing and to reconciliation. But the healing process need not wait till then. We must begin now to work on our children who have been spectators in the macabre dance that we have witnessed all this while. This was what the First Lady, Dame (Dr.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan strove to do in the evening of May 27, while she hosted the 2013 children day party. It was a solemn occasion to dream peace, think peace and sow peace in the minds of the children; for the child is the future of the nation. It is clear to all that as our children grow under this inclement and violent times, it is important that we teach them, to let them know and to make them begin to appreciate that there is no alternative to peace for us a nation. We should begin to involve them in the quest for a better tomorrow, through peace building. “We love peace.” That was the central message of the First Lady to the cream of
Nigerian children that attended the children day funfair at the presidential villa. This message was packaged in a child-friendly rhymed booklet of similar title with beautiful illustrations. The book is a striking collection of 29 pages of short rhythmical phrases and sentences that are memorable. It was produced by the First Lady for Nigerian children to enable them appreciate the value of peace and how this could enhance the development of the nation. The booklet can be divided into two main themes: what peace is and what peace could achieve. The first 22 pages define what peace is while the last seven pages illustrate the value of peace and what positive developments it could bring to the society. It begins by affirming “we love peace,” then going into the various shades and dimensions of peace such as “loving my neighbour as myself,” “making new friends,” “making others happy,” “saying I am sorry when I hurt someone,” “keeping my environment safe and clean,” “to forgive,” “respecting others’ religious beliefs,” “being kind,” “helping someone in need,” “sharing,” “not taking what belongs to others without their permission,” “obeying the law,” “staying away from anything that can hurt me and others,” “reporting to the Police whenever I see anyone doing what I know would hurt others,” “saying no to violence,” “not bullying others,” “to think peaceful thoughts,” and “praying for peace.” These are short memorable phrases that demonstrate the concept of peace. When interpreted the other way, it means not heeding these messages causes the opposite of peace, which is violence and insecurity. Thus, when we love ourselves more than
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
others, when we like making others unhappy, refuse to apologize or own up to our mistakes when we are wrong or have hurt someone, keeping malice rather than forgive, intolerant of others’ religious beliefs, being unkind to people, breaking the law, concealing crime and criminals, taking what does not belong to us, encouraging and abetting violence, among others, we are stoking violence and insecurity. In essence, the regime of violence that has been recorded in some parts of the country is due to the action or inaction of some people in relation to making peace. What do we have to gain when there is peace in the nation? That is the second part of the thematic concern of the booklet. Thus, when there is peace “our leaders can work to develop our country,” “children can work and play, “children can go to school,” and “children are assured of brighter future.” At some point, when we decide to count our losses as a result of the violence that has rocked some parts of our nation, we will realize that violence does not pay. We would realize that violence is distracting our leaders from tackling development challenges. If like the children read and sang during the May 27 event, we can chant this refrain to ourselves everyday as a solemn mantra, “I love peace, I seek peace, I am for peace, I am an instrument of peace,” we can then begin to “imagine peace, think peace, and talk peace,” and eventually “make peace.” It is as simple as that. The First Lady has shown the way; the alternative route out of the regime of fear that has held many to ransom. Let us begin to think and act peace now. Dr. Isiaka Aliagan is of the Office of the First Lady, Federal Republic of Nigeria
based on facts rather than rumors and propaganda from spin doctors. To contribute our quota towards the making of a street-wise 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.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
23 million dollar bounty for AQIM, Boko Haram bosses Contd. from Front Page that the spread of militant groups risks destabilizing the entire west African region. Belmokhtar, who was a senior commander for AQIM, broke away from the group last year to set up his own group dubbed the “Signatories in Blood.” Branded “the Uncatchable,” Belmokhtar also personally supervised the operational plans for the twin car bombings in Niger that killed at least 20 people late last month, according to a spokesman for his group. Monday’s rewards acknowledged the growing links between AQIM and Nigeria’s Boko Haram, which is under pressure from a military offensive. “They’ve had a relationship for some time. They send people
back and forth for training, they’ve done the provision of arms back and forth,” the State Department official said. “The links are... not quite as solid as some of the other terrorist organizations,” he said. “Nonetheless, it’s a dangerous link and it’s something that we feel we should try and stop.” Shekau, in a video obtained by AFP last week, claimed his forces had made significant gains against the Nigerian army while sustaining little damage since the start of the military offensive on May 15. “Under his leadership, Boko Haram’s capability has certainly grown,” the State Department official told AFP. He highlighted how the group set off “their first improvised explosive device in early June 2011. By August (2011) they
used a car bomb against the United Nations facility,” an attack which killed 25 people. “When we see someone like this who... is actually leading to an increase in the capability of an organization, that’s something that we would naturally try to see if we can do something to impede,” he added. Shekau’s whereabouts could not be determined in the video, in which he is shown seated and dressed in camouflage and a turban, with an AK-47 at his side. His comments contradict statements from the military, which has claimed major successes during the offensive, including the destruction of Boko Haram camps and dozens of arrests. Shekau was placed on a US blacklist last year.
Gov. Aliyu calls for Marshal Plan for revival of North’s economy
ov Babangida Aliyu of Niger said on Monday that the economy of the 19 northern states required a Marshal plan for accelerated revival. He made the remark when he met with the members of the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peace at the Government House in Minna. According to him, the economy of the northern region is in need of urgent revival as a way to tackle the challenges of insecurity. He stressed the need to provide jobs for the army of unemployed youths who were “ready tools in the hands of mischief makers in the country’’.
“There is, therefore, the need for all the economic issues in the North to be looked into properly and solutions proffered,“ he said. Aliyu said that it was imperative that the sponsors of the group be identified and punished. “Those who have not taken arms against the country are more dangerous than those fighting the nation who we know,” Aliyu said. He said true federalism would be good for the country as the central government would not be “too strong and intolerant of other people’s views”. The governor also called for the entrenchment of internal democracy in political parties so that the majority would have its way without hindrance.
“We must pay attention to what happens in the political parties and to the political parties, party leadership should not be allowed to manipulate the parties for their selfish interest,“ Aliyu said. He pointed out that crises were better resolved than issuance of threat, saying “threat as a democratic principle should stop we must negotiate.’’ Earlier, the Committee Chairman and the Minister of Special Duties, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, lauded the Niger government’s efforts at providing adequate security as the government had been able to contain the insurgence in Suleja and Madalla.
Gov. Nyako, community leaders commends conduct of military in Adamawa
overnor of Adamawa Murtala Nyako, has commended the conduct of both the military and people of Adamawa following the state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by Brig.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, the Director of Defence Information. The statement said that the governor gave the commendation while receiving the Defence Headquarters Operations Assessment Team in Yola. The statement quoted Nyako as commending the Armed Forces on the way the state of emergency was being implemented. He said that there was no report of human rights abuse within the state and that the troops were living in peace with the populace. “The children are more disciplined and the soldiers are well behaved, the youths are beginning to see the need for togetherness and the advantages of it,’’ he said. Nyako said that the
emergency rule had affected the “akara’’ and “suya ‘’ sellers and all others who operate between the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 .p.m. in the state. He said the state had therefore instituted a welfare scheme to cater for this category of people. He said that the cooperation given by the state to the military in ensuring security was a model to be studied and copied by other states. According to the statement, the leader of the DHQ team, Brig.Gen. Mike Ojo thanked the governor for his support for the security agencies in the state before and after the declaration of emergency. He also thanked Nyako for sensitising the people of the state to cooperate with the troops. He commended the governor for organising a skill acquisition programme that also benefited women in the barracks. While in Konkol, a border town with Cameroon, the Wakilin Konkol, Mahia LGA, Alhaji Ibrahim Yuguda, commended the conduct of the troops deployed to
the community. He said that the troops were operating in peace with the members of the community since their arrival and that the community members had been going about their normal activities unhindered. Affirming the traditional ruler’s statement, the Councilor of Konkol, Mohammed Maji, also implored the DHQ to ensure that troops with the same traits were deployed in the event of rotation of personnel. He pledged that the community would continue to assist the troops to ensure peace and security. At Gurin in Fufore LGA, another border town on the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary, the DHQ team met with the traditional ruler and members of the community. The Hakimin Gurin, Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Yero, commended the troops, noting that they had conducted their operations professionally as expected of any well-trained and disciplined force.
How kids were recruited to burn schools in the North Contd. from front page want to go home and ask for forgiveness from my father and mother for what I did; I also want to go to school.” One of the boys said he was arrested last year after he was overheard talking about the people who burnt a school in Maiduguri and failed to inform the military. “I was arrested because I know those who burnt the school without telling the soldiers. Some people heard me discussing about the people who burnt the school and reported me to the soldiers who arrested me,” he said. One of the teenagers said they were paid N5,000 and provided with fuel in kegs to set schools ablaze in Maiduguri. The release of the suspects was done in line with the Federal Government’s amnesty deal. In Borno State, 20 detainees, comprising six women and 14 children arrested between 2012 and 2013 were set free and handed over to Shettima for rehabilitation and reintegration.
The 20 detainees were mostly arrested in Maiduguri, Bama in Borno and Damaturu in Yobe State. Bamigboye, who supervised the handing over, said he was acting on behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Sa’ad Ibrahim. This, he said, was in line with the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan to the army. He explained that the detainees were arrested in connection with the roles they played in the insurgency. The six women freed are Hajia Zainab Mohammed, 40; Hajia Karagama Mohammed, 55; Hajia Zari Mohammed, 40; Aishatu Mohammed Aji, 62; Hadiza Ahmad, 40; and Yakaka Goni Habib, 16. 14 children released include Abba Modu Aji,10; Mohammed Musa, 12; Ibrahim Mohammed, 15; Umar Bukar, 15; Mustapha Umaru, 14; Bashir Ali, 12; Musa Grema, 13; Abba Mohammed, 14; Baba Alhaji, 13; AbdulAziz Umar, 14; Ari Masa’a, 14; Bayi Mustapha, 14; Mohammed Ibrahim, 14 and Alhaji Goni, 14.
UBA employee arraigned for N6.2m theft
n employee of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Oladele Shobambo, on Monday appeared before an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, charged with an alleged fraud of N6.2 million. Shobambo, former Head of the Cash Management Centre of the bank based in Oyingbo, Lagos, resides at No. 20 Agunbiaka St., Itoki, Lagos. The police prosecutor, Insp. George Nwosu, told the court that the crime was committed on Dec. 12, 2011 at the bank’s branch at Oyingbo-Yaba, Lagos.
Nwosu said that the accused received the money on behalf of his employer and falsified the account to read N4.4 million. The prosecutor said that the accused fraudulently converted the money to his personal use. He said that the offences contravened sections 285 and 333 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The Chief Magistrate, Mr Olatunbosun Abolarinwa, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000, with two sureties in like sum. Abolarinwa adjourned the case to July 4 for hearing.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Shell under the skin, 10 years after crisis A
decade ago, Royal Dutch/Shell’s boss was fighting to close the gap between the truth about his company’s oil and gas reserves and the much larger figure in its accounts. * New-look Shell pumps cash, bets big on technology, gas * Outgoing CEO Voser says “no” to reining in capex * “Don’t slow down. It will cost you more afterwards”, says Voser * Struggling with Nigeria, production downtime, Alaska record * Shell now a technology, big project play * Company stock has outperformed Exxon over past 40 years He lost the fight, and his job. Scandal engulfed one of the world’s biggest companies, exposing years of neglect. Fast forward to May 2013, and the surprise news that chief executive Peter Voser will retire next year caused barely a ripple. Shell has recovered shareholder confidence. But while the risks may all be in the open now, they remain big. Multi-billion dollar Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) projects and a foray into the world’s most inhospitable drilling climate north of Alaska are among the Anglo-Dutch group’s heavier technology investment bets. Capital spending is spiralling, and its production from mature fields sputters. All the while, oil and gas prices look shaky. Some investors want Shell to pull in its horns and keep more for bigger dividends. Voser, who became finance director during the 2004 reserves crisis and CEO in 2009, is having none of it. “No. One learning out of all this, for every person in this organisation now, is you spend capex through the cycle. Don’t try to read it, don’t slow down. It will cost you more when you want to grow afterwards,” he told Reuters last week. “I know a lot of investors and analysts. They all think they can read the market ... slow down, grow later, shrink to grow, all these buzzwords, but one thing in our industry is very clear; it takes you five to seven years to recover a strategic slowdown ... The market changes its views in three to six months, and you can’t change that fast in our industry.” As Voser enters his last months in the job, Shell still suffers from underperforming production, an accident-prone exploration record offshore Alaska, and the running reputational sore of Nigeria, where spills, oil theft and pipeline sabotage are devastating the Niger Delta’s ecology and cost 60,000 barrels of oil a day in lost production. Much of its U.S. gas production is uneconomic at current prices. Cash flow has doubled to $46 billion in three years, and company predictions are above $40 billion until 2015, but 2013 capital spending will be $34 billion - $8 billion more than the company was planning for as recently as 2011, with no significant extra work on the calendar. Add in the $11 billion annual dividend and the level of cash generation looks more necessary than comfortable. Shell acknowledges it is “capital constrained”. Many of the challenges it faces are common to its peers. The big three, Exxon Mobil, Shell and Chevron, are absent from some of the most promising new
provinces - prime deepwater Brazilian acreage and the potentially prolific gas fields off east Africa. Aggressive service companies, smaller, nimbler rivals, and deep-pocketed state-backed National Oil Companies (NOCs) have muscled up as competitors. SPUTTERING GROWTH ENGINES There are also worries about the unpredictability of production from provinces like the North Sea, where mature assets generate cash for new projects. After a disappointing fourth quarter 2012, Deutsche Bank analysts said investors “are being asked to take a lot on trust”. First quarter results went on to delight the market. It’s a dispiriting pattern, said a 30year Shell veteran. “We outperform in the first quarter. We do OK in the second, then the third quarter is bad and the fourth is worse. We just don’t get the uptime that others do.” Voser accepts this. “Consistency of operational performance is the big operational theme we are driving at Shell now since 2011 ... We are not yet there. But it is now firmly on the agenda of the frontline businesses to get that right, and the improvements we are seeing are very encouraging.” Ten years after the crisis, sheer scale, structural reform and bold investments have ensured survival and healed scars. The world number-two’s record on absolute returns - share appreciation plus re-invested dividends - shows the wounds were skindeep anyway. Though it has underperformed Exxon over the past 10 years, it outperformed over five years and 40. () Voser’s spend-through-the-cycle philosophy reflects his experience in the 2008-2009 financial crisis, when shareholder pressure held back investments, and in the mid-1990s, when the seeds of Shell’s reserves crisis were sown. Back then, Shell had a heavily decentralised structure - corporate speak for ungovernable, isolated business fiefdoms - so the communication of problems and solutions broke down. A 1995 reorganisation effort was eclipsed by tumbling oil prices. Shell cut
Mutiu Sunmonu. Country Chair Shell Companies in Nigeria and Managing Director SPDC. investments and costs, adopting the “contractor model” trend - firing career engineers, rehiring them as contractors. “That worked in 98-2002,” said a former Shell senior manager who asked not to be named. “Contractors were cheap, plus it takes a while for the weakening of those core strengths to work through. By 2003, when business was picking up, contractors were thin on the ground.” STRUGGLING TO KEEP UP Other big oil companies found a new way to grow; Exxon bought Mobil, BP acquired Amoco and Arco. Total acquired Fina and Elf, and Chevron bought Texaco. Sclerotic, committee-driven Shell just watched. Life extensions for fields in the North Sea, Oman and Malaysia maintained the illusion that Shell was keeping up. “We were struggling,” recalls Voser. “We didn’t have the growth story to present like all the others. Into that came the reserves crisis, which was the trigger for what we then had to do.” Phil Watts was top executive when the scandal broke in January 2004, overseeing a group owned 60 percent by Royal Dutch Petroleum, based in The Hague, 40 by London-based Shell Transport & Trading. The dual-board, dual-ownership set-up was later swept away. Watts had previously been head of exploration and production (E&P) in some of the overbooking years. An independent investigation found he had suppressed
calls by his successor at E&P, Walter Van de Vijver, to address the gap between reported proved reserves and proved reserves under regulatory guidelines. Ironically, one project Watts championed and saved from cost cuts became Shell’s flagship cash cow last year, making the company the leader in gas technology. That project is Pearl GTL in Qatar, which turns gas into diesel and is the world’s biggest such plant. Shell also leads the industry in LNG, thanks in part to the Watts years, and is set to extend that position by 2017. () Gorgon, a gas field off Australia’s coast and a central part of the overbooking, is slated to start producing by 2015. The 20 percent reserves downgrade was announced on Jan. 9, 2004, and in March 2004, Watts and Van de Vijver resigned over the overbookings in Australia, Oman, Nigeria and Brunei. For years, the independent investigation by law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell showed, executives had exchanged emails about “lying” and “fooling the market”. The would-be whistleblower, Van de Vijver, wrote in December 2003 that a report on the real reserves position “needs to be destroyed”. When Jeroen van der Veer replaced Watts, he called Voser, a close colleague who had left Shell in 2002 for Swiss engineer ABB, to be finance director. Both men were from the downstream refining, marketing and chemicals side of the business. Traditionally, the upstream oil and gas producing arm is seen as the driver of the business. “Van der Veer instituted the importance of bad news travelling upwards quickly,” said the former senior manager. “I had to give him quite a lot. We also started quarterly performance reviews in 04/05. There, people tell you what’s wrong before you give them their grilling. We learned a lot from the downstream, which never lost sight of the importance of those things the way the upstream did.” Van der Veer, who left the board last week, forced through the board and share unifications investors clamoured for. His team dumped decision by consensus and removed layers of management, but made sure the old business fiefdoms were still accountable for their results. They also rehired technological expertise and brought forward key projects. In one board meeting in 2006, Pearl, the LNG project Qatargas 4, and a Canadian oil sands project - big cashflow drivers today - got the go-ahead. From 2009, Voser stepped up the globalisation, axing 20 percent of management jobs. He appointed fellow Swiss national Matthias Bichsel to push standard procedures and kit where possible and develop technology to cut costs. “If you look at the world going forward, where will an energy company like Shell differentiate itself from the upcoming NOCs, from the service companies?,” Voser said. “It can only be in the breakthrough technologies and innovations. That’s for decades what we have done and where we spend our money ... That’s were our future will be.” -Reuters
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
PDP cautions against provocative utterances By Ude Ejikeme
he ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned politicians against provocative utterances that could affect the peaceful order in the country. National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metu,gave the warning in an interview with reporters dispatch at PDP Headquarters in Abuja. He advised Nigerian politicians to inculcate the culture of discipline, love and tolerance in their followers.
PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur
Metu added that all the nation required now was peace and progress to ensure political stability in the country. He further asked Nigerians to shun all kinds of violence and pave way for rapid implementation of policies and programmes that would enhance the wellbeing of the citizenry. “This is the only way of providing dividends of democracy to the governed,” he said. He also called on politicians to cooperate with stakeholders, “if we want to achieve our desire of
conducting a free, fair and transparent elections in the country”. “We must have it at the back of our mind that seeking elective position we must not be seen as a do or die affair”, he said. He reiterated the determination of President Goodluck Jonathan to carry everybody on board for the overall development of the country. “We have succeeded in providing basic infrastructure that have enhanced the well-being of our people irrespective of political party differences.”
Boko Haram: Negotiators for ceasefire demands are deceivers – Borno Government
he Borno State government has explained why it has reservations over the recent demands supposedly made on behalf of the Boko Haram Sect as a condition for ceasefire in which some certain persons were sworn-in as preferred negotiators with the Federal Government. It said that with the declaration of State of emergency by the Federal Government in the state, the so-called negotiators can now go home and stop deceiving Nigerians. Home Affairs and Information Commissioner, Mr. Inuwa Bwala, who disclosed this to reporters dispatch in an exlcusive interview in Abuja said “as much as we are enthusiastic about the demands for ceasefire, Borno state
government still have its suspicion because he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”. Bwala said the mention of names of persons as possible negotiators could have farreaching implications, adding “if you have stated your terms, allow the Federal Government to produce whoever they feel could represent them. “we agree that those who have been named so far as possible negotiators are very credible Nigerians, but then one cannot actually ascertain whether these demands are from Boko Haram or people who want to use Boko as excuse for a failed assignment (alibi) to enrich their pockets. “Boko Harma has a modus operandi, one of which is that in the background of their conference, we see a display of Arabic inscription. Also part of
their demands has always been the declaration of sharia in some Northern states of Nigeria. Again, Boko Haram addresses their audience in Hausa, but all these are missing in their last conference,” Bwala said. On the state of emergency recently imposed by the Federal Government on Borno state, Bwala said, “the impression of my people is that we are given this step-child treatment because we are in an opposition political party, otherwise we expect the President to apply a human face without using a sledge hammer to kill a fly”. He appealed to President Jonathan to apply the philosophy of late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sarduana of Sokoto as the only solution to Nigeria’s myriad of problems. Bwala said Sardauna
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima believed in honesty, justice for all and the oneness of the country. He said Nigerians must learn to live together, love and respect each other’s religion, tradition, values and culture to pave way for peace.
160 cabs for launch in FCT, says official
he FCT administration is to inaugurate 160 cabs as part of measures to cushion the effect of the ban of mini buses in the city centre, Secretary of Transport Secretariat, Jonathan Ivoke has said. Ivoke told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that the administration had provided “enough buses” to replace the mini buses popularly known as ‘Araba’ which have been banned from operating in designated areas as from June 3. He said that from reports reaching the secretariat, affected commercial drivers complied with the ban. Ivoke said:“this is the first
day of enforcement of the ban on mini buses, we are aware of the challenges being faced by passengers. “The high capacity buses we provided and drivers did not arrive early as planned this morning, that was why commuters were stranded. “I promise you that by the close of work, things would have normalised. There will be enough buses to take commuters,” he said. NAN reports that the new policy allows high buses access to the city centre, while mini buses are to operate at satellite towns and other area councils. The administration said it introduced the measure to decongest traffic. NAN recalls that the mini
Minister of FCT, Bala Mohammed bus operators were first given a deadline of Jan. 14 to operate only on designated feeder routes within the capital city, but extended the deadline. The mini buses are not to
operate on Wuse Market to Nyanya, Jabi, Gudu Market to Federal Secretariat routes, among others. They are, however, to operate on the MombassaMichael Okpara-Olusegun Obasanjo-MKO Abiola-Area One; Area One-Gudu-Apo Mechanic Village; Area OneCement Market-Apo Mechanic Village and Jabi-Mbora-KauraGudu Market. Other areas of operation are Jabi-Mbora-Sun City-Apo Mechanic Village, Jabi-MboraLugbe, Gwarinpa-Life Camp entrance-First Gate, Bwari Town-Dutse AlhajiExpressway, Kubwa Second Gate-First Gate, and MpapeMurtala Muhammed Expressway Junction.
100 Nigerian seafarers sent to India for training
igeria has sent 100 youths to India to receive training in various maritime fields to enable the country take control of its coastal trade. Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi who disclosed this said that the seafarers will receive training at AMET University of Maritime Transport based in Chennai.. He said the training is aimed at placing Nigeria in a strategic position to “effectively take control of its coastal trade within the next 10 years. According to the Director -General, the beneficiaries were enjoined to treat the opportunity given to them by the country and the agency as a rare one by dedicating themselves fully to their studies and be guided by the rules and regulations of the university in addition to the laws of India. “President Goodluck Jonathan is interested in the seafarers development programme and the cadets were admonished to be good ambassadors of Nigeria while in India,” he said adding that he hopes Nigeria would become a hub of maritime activities in Africa as far as human capacity is concerned. Many Nigerians have benefitted from government sponsored scholarships in India. In August 2011, 25 Nigerian repentant militants were sent to India to undergo trainings in diving and underwater welding under the country’s post-amnesty program designed to make former Niger delta militants more relevant in the petroleum sector.
Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Election riggers should be banned for life – Prof. Itse Sagay Professor Itse Sagay is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and an international law expert. In this exclusive interview with UDE EJIKEME in Abuja, he commended the Federal Government’s stance on the rule of law and EFCC’s improved operation, but cautioned against unnecessary court orders. He also spoke on the constitutional immunity of State Governors, plea bargain and the on-going trial of ex-governors and issues of national importance. Excerpts.
ir, can I have your comments on the on-going trial of exgovernors alleged to have looted public funds with respect to the method of operation of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)? I am glad that you added the EFCC’s method of operation at the end of your question. There are two things that one has to be clear about. I will start by telling you what the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice said on July 30, 2007. He said, “we cannot enforce the law by breaking the law”. We don’t enforce the anticorruption law by demolishing the constitution and our democracy. The present approach of the EFCC is a much improved one. First, you interview the people on the various petitions written against them and hear the response of those governors. You then investigate and if you feel that you have enough evidence, you can then charge them to court, that is what the EFCC is doing at the moment. So far so good, in the sense that they are basing their charges on the evidence from investigations and the governors are on bail, and we do not have to go through the process we went through before where you incarcerate somebody over a long period of time illegally and at the end find that you don’t have enough evidence and the case dies a natural death. So the method of operation is alright. But I must mention that the condition of bail are rather stiff. Again, I have one more comment to make which make some very unhappy, and that is the action taken against exgovernor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu where all his assets are frozen. Some of those assets have no connection with him, like the Slok Airline which is not operating in Nigeria. How they will enforce that order in Gambia is what we are yet to see. My point is that we should avoid the impression that there is personal feud and some vengeance arising from past encounters being visited on the man outside the strict requirements of the process of prosecution. The judges too should be alerted about this sort of things, so that they make orders that are absolutely necessary. All this is to avoid a situation where you cripple someone’s business and ruin him permanently for life even if he emerges
victorious at the end. This could be worse than imprisonment. This brings us to the issue of selective justice which Ohanaeze Ndigbo has raised earlier. Do you see any elements of selective justice? Are you suggesting that Igbo exgovernors are targeted? They are worried that only few exgovernors are being prosecuted. They are also disturbed that those who served at the Federal level are not being investigated. They warned that Kalu should not be treated like a convicted criminal. I agree with Ohanaeze Ndigbo entirely that it should not be limited to the state governors. For instance, Ministers, Chairmen of Corporations who even controlled more money should be investigated. I also agree that Kalu’s case is not well treated because of the way his assets were frozen. But I still feel that the EFCC should be given more time. It is possible that they do not want to chew more than they can swallow. May be they want to do it in batches. I don’t regard what they have done as being anti-Igbo, but definitely, I see some prejudicial and vengeful attitudes towards Kalu. Given the fact that some of the ex-governors looted public funds for as long as eight years because they could not be prosecuted while in office, do you think we should continue to retain the immunity clause in our constitution? Yes, I think we should retain it even though we have had a very bad experience in the sense that it was abused by the governors. We are still learning. Some of these things might repeat themselves, but I think the number will be much reduced, and the volume of misappropriation will also reduce. It is a question of a growing culture. I do hope that we shall gradually established a culture in which people in public office will be accountable and would be very cautious in the way they handle public funds. Nigerians are professional litigants. A governor will never have time to perform his duty. Don’t you see the way the anti-graft agents were pursuing some ex-governors. It was for over four years and the men was thoroughly distracted. Nigerians have vengeful, vindictive litigation spirit. So, the immunity clause should be allowed to
Prof. Itse Sagay remain. For the purpose of public enlightenment, what is the position of the law on “plea bargain” which is being flaunted in the on-going exgovernors trial? We do not have specific laws on plea bargain. But a plea bargain can occur now under the present laws that we have, without even being specifically mentioned because the prosecution has a lot of discretion. It can, for instance, reduce a 100 count charge to 10 to make it more manageable and for better application of resources. If an accused says let me plead guilty to count 1, 2, and 3 so that you don’t have to bring evidence, witnesses and so on, and be subjected to a defence which can drag indefinitely and the prosecution agrees to drop some charges. That is it. It saves state’s resources and makes life easier for the person who is standing trial, and has his punishment reduced. Plea bargain is not in our statue books, but it is not unlawful. The present government is interested in the problems of the Niger Delta. What do you think the region needs most now? So many things. The major issue really is that the people of the region are being ignored by the federal government and the oil companies. The people (of Niger Delta) are on-lookers over the processes of an industry which is based on the resources that belong to them. The Federal Government allocates oil blocs on their land to nonNiger Deltan and foreign companies, who do whatever they like on the land, and the people have no say. The people of the Niger Delta have to be involved as the owners of the
resources in the whole of the industry, starting from the allocation of oil blocs to the regulation of the industry and even pollution matters. For instance, the burning of gas is going on and the people do not have a say. Thirdly, apart from derivation policy, which is in order and has to be increased, communities from where these resources are got should be given certain percentage of what is derived on their land. By this, they become stakeholders. Then, they will even have the interest to protect the facilities of the oil companies and contractors. The people should be promoted from the status of on-lookers to that of participants. For now, the Niger Delta Development Company (NDDC) which is supposed to be an intervening agency is like a stranger in the midst of the people. The directors of the board are appointed by the Federal Government and the contractors are from Abuja. What strikes me is that the people of the region are treated by the Federal Government as infants who do not know what is good for them. This has to stop. The 13 percent derivation is already being enforced. There is this allegation that governors in the Niger Delta region between 1999 and 2007 did not make judicious use of the money made available to them? Well, there is no doubt about that. That is what we were told during the national conference. What have you done with your 13 percent? All your governors have carted away billions of naira which they got from the 13 per5cent derivation policy, so, first go and make good use of your 13 percent Contd. on page 7
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Niger Delta Governors Started the Breeding of Militants - Buhari
ormer Nigerian Military Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, a major stakeholder in the newly formed but yet to be registered All Progressive Congress , has accused former governors of Niger Delta states of breeding militants for political reasons. Mr. Buhari made the statement in a radio program . According to Gen. Buhari the governors armed militants for political purposes, but failed to retrieve the arms, adding that the weapons enabled the militants to start kidnapping expatriates in the Niger Delta. “All Nigerians that are following events know this reality. The Niger Delta militants started it. The reality of what occurred was that, some governors wanted to win their elections and they were facing serious challenges of return. They employed these boys and armed them to fight their opponents. After their forceful victory, they could not retrieve the weapons and they stopped paying the boys for not obeying them [by returning the weapons]. The irate youths then started kidnapping and it become the order of the day.
Former Nigerian Military Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari They were kidnapping oil expatriates and collecting dollars as ransom. A boy of 18 to 20 was getting almost 500 dollars in seven days, what will
stop him doing it? And why will he go to school to spend 20 years and then come back to work for peanuts? That is if he will among the lucky ones that will
get a job.” Speaking on the advent of Boko Haram sect, the former military dictator asked, “How did the sect start? We know that their head, Muhammed Yusuf, was posing as a threat and police could not clamp down on the sect and soldiers were involved. Muhammed Yusuf was captured alive by soldiers [and handed over] to the police. The right thing was to investigate and charge him to court. Instead they killed him and his in-law, and they went and destroyed their houses. Because of this, the remaining followers regrouped and are doing what they are doing.” Since the airing of the program, Gen.Buhari’s political opponents and critics have reiterated accusations that he is sympathetic to Boko Haram’s terror activities. in Nigeria. But his supporters say the accusation is nothing but “calling a dog a bad name to hang it” One of the asked this reporter “ If the General is the father of Boko Haram in Nigeria ,then who is rsponsible for Boko Haram bombings in Niger Republic?
APC to end insurgency, corruption if registered
he Deputy National Secretary of the CPC, Mr Okoi Obla, said the All Progressive Congress(APC) was committed to stopping insurgency and corruption if registered as a political party. Obla, a member of the APC Merger Committee, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
in Abuja on Monday that APC would win the 2015 general elections. He said that APC would wage war against indiscipline in the country if voted into power in 2015. According to him, the party will provide better governance for the people
through participatory democracy. He said that the masses had not been enjoying dividends of democracy the way they should since 1999. Obia said, before 1999, the nation’s economy was buoyant, the railway system was working well and there
was enough employment opportunities for the people. He urged every Nigerian to exercise self discipline and control to enhance the beauty of democracy in the country. Obla said APC would provide employment to unemployed Nigerians if voted into power in 2015.
I will defeat Fayemi in 2014 —Fayose
ormer Ekiti governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, on Monday said he would defeat the incumbent governor, Kayode Fayemi, in the 2014 governorship election. Fayose told newsmen in Ado-Ekiti at the inauguration of his campaign organisation that history would repeat itself the way he defeated the then incumbent governor in 2003, Chief Adebayo Adeniyi. The former governor, who said he was “ moved by the mammoth crowd of party (PDP) supporters,” said he had “the magic wand to win election any time any day in Ekiti State.’’ He described his followership, good will and political structure as the “hidden treasures that cannot be equalled by anybody.’’ Fayose also identified “the grace of God as well as prayers of the people” as positive factors propelling him, adding that he was the only one who could deliver the state to the PDP. He advised the PDP against conceding to calls to zone the 2014 governorship position to the southern part of the state.
Election riggers should be banned for life – Prof. Itse Sagay Contd. from page 6 before you ask for more. We appreciate the fact, we have to monitor our governors, we have to monitor our commissioners and all the people in the authority who have control over the 13 percent funds. But we shall not close our eyes to the fact that 87 percent goes outside the zone. We are more interested in that. And we want to be involved in the power to control the 87 percent, the oil companies and their operations. Usually elections in Nigeria are marred by irregularities. Is there any legal frame work by which the nation can get out of this situation come 2015? Well, there is a legal frame work and that is why the tribunals are there. I would say that given our experience in
this country, we have not had one honest election in which civilians are in-charge. It is only when the military are handing over that we have a relatively fair election. But when you have a civilian government that has interest in the election, then there is a problem. I would suggest to President Goodluck Jonathan led government that three months before an election, the executive should leave office, then the state should be run by a chief judge and he should organize elections. Although the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) or whatever replaces it will be there, but the Chief Judge will be the chief executive of the state and will preside over the electoral process. By this arrangement, you will have an independent professional who will go back to his post after presiding over the electoral processes, and then hand over to a new government that will reduce
the level of tampering because he will control the police and other security agencies that are used in rigging elections. It will also put the governors and their team at par with the opposition. The long term suggestions is a civilized culture. A culture of rules of law – a democratic culture where people will begin to accept that elections are not a do-or-die affair. That if you lose this time, you can by your power of persuasion and conduct persuade the electorate to vote for you next time. There are calls for a harsher punishment for those who engage in election malpractice. Do you subscribe to that? Yes I do. I feel that such people should be banned for life from taking part in politics. Two, they should be imprisoned for at least three years without any option of fine.
The present administration has pledged to have respect for the rule of law. How does that impact on the nation’s judiciary, democracy and the legal system? It is absolutely welcome. It will impact positively on the whole country. It shows that President Jonathan led administration is interested in constitutional governance. All that means is that we are moving towards a civilized state of existence. It also means that the tension is going to reduce in the society. There will be greater freedom and harmony. Jonathan should be greatly congratulated for adopting this approach, particularly after the exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo regime which was so oppressive and definitely hostile to the rule of law and was turning into a dictatorship.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Metro Fake doctor bags 28 days imprisonment
35-year-old man, Longpies Hosen, was on Monday sentenced to 28 days imprisonment by an Ibadan Magistrates’ Court for impersonating as a medical doctor. Magistrate Patricia Adetuyibi sentenced the convict to 28 days imprisonment without an option of fine after he pleaded guilty to the offence. Adetuyibi said that the prosecutor was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the convict was guilty of impersonation and should be punished accordingly. The magistrate also said that the convict should be brought to the court at the end of his jail term so that the court clerk would assist in securing commercial transport for him to go to Jos. The prosecutor, PC. Oluseye Oyebanji, told the court that the convict was arraigned on a one-count charge of impersonation. Oyebanji said that the convict on Tuesday impersonated as a medical doctor at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, at about 5.30 p.m. The prosecutor also informed the court that the convict was caught when Dr Oketona Olajide, one of the doctors at the hospital, asked him some questions which he could not answer. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened section 108 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Vol. II Laws of Oyo State of Nigeria, 2000. He said some items, including a stethoscope, an appointment letter belonging to one Dr Ehimen Oamen and University of Benin Teaching Hospital’s duty roster, were recovered from the convict. In his plea, the convict told the court that he lied to Olajide so as to get money to transport himself to Jos. The convict confessed th at the items recovered from him were stolen, adding that he had some spiritual problems which made him to lose his memory and regain it.
City, Crime & Justice N20.8 bn Pension Scam: Court adjourns hearing to July 11
ustice Hussieni BabaYusuf of the FCT High Court on Monday adjourned hearing in the alleged N20.8 billion pension scam filed by the EFCC against Esai Dangabar and six others to July 11. Esai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar, Ahmed Wada, Sani Zira, Uzoma Attang, the Chief Accountant in the pension office; Christian Madubuke and Veronica Onyegbula were arraigned on an 20-count charge, bordering on stealing and criminal breach of trust They had pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court admitted them to bail in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties in like sum, one of
whom must not be less than an officer on Grade Level 14. Justice Baba-Yusuf, fixed the date, after Attang’s (fifth accused) Counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), pleaded with the court for a short adjournment. The judge ordered an accelerated hearing which will commence on July 11. Agabi told the court that he was not ready for the commencement of trial because he was “not familiar with the case yet.” He prayed the court for the adjournment to enable him study the case and prepare for trial. The Prosecution Counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacob (SAN), had earlier told the court that the EFCC was
ready for the commencement of trial. The EFCC on April 10, specifically, alleged that the accused persons conspired and withdrew money from the Police Pension Fund (PPF) in an account domiciled at First Bank of Nigeria and shared it amongst themselves. The anti-graft agency alleged that one of the accused, Inuwa Wada, collected N18 million from Unity Bank Plc, as his reward for retaining the Police Pension Account with the bank. The EFCC further alleged that the fraud was perpetuated between January 2009 and June 2011.
Pipeline vandalism: Absence of judge stalls trial of 11 fishermen A Federal High Court, Lagos, on Monday fixed July 9 for the continuation of the trial of 11 fishermen, charged with pipeline vandalism. The case, the trial of which was fixed for June 3, could not go on due to the absence of the trial Judge, Justice Musa Kurya. The judge was said to be away at a workshop. A new date, July 9, has now been scheduled for the continuation of the trial. The accused are Sidi Egbayelo (29), Sunday Shadrach (39), Edem Okon (30), Godwin Kofa (28), Rosemon Neito (30), Ejona Kpamkpam (23), and Moses Victor (28).
Others are Chris Sunday (29), Peter Gay (21), Remo Uchugwu (23), and Mike Sabato (29). They were arraigned on Feb. 7 on a four-count charge, bordering on conspiracy, stealing, vandalism, and unlawful possession of petroleum products. They had each pleaded not guilty to the charge. Kurya had then granted them bail in the sum of N2 million each, with two sureties in like sum. The Prosecutor, Mr Justin Enang, had told the court that the accused were apprehended by a team of the policemen on Dec. 21, 2012. He said that the accused
were apprehended at about 1:00 p.m. on the day, at Atlas Cove, Lagos. According to the prosecutor, 220 drums of petrol valued at N5.3 million, were recovered from the accused. Enang also alleged that the products were illegally obtained from a vandalised pipeline in the area. He said that the offence contravened Sections 390 and 516 of the Criminal Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, as well as Section 7(a) and (b) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act 2004. Stealing attracts a term of imprisonment of not less than three years— upon conviction.
Report on killing of policemen in Nasawara will be made public at appropriate time —IG
r Mohammed Abubakar, the Inspector-General of Police, said on Monday that the report of investigation into the killing of 49 policemen in Nasarawa State would be made public at the appropriate time. Abubakar gave the assurance in Abuja in an interview with newsmen shortly after the inauguration of 12 patrol vehicles for the Abuja-Kaduna Highway. 49 police personnel and 10 operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) were killed at Alakyo Village in Nasawara State on May 7. They were alleged to have been killed by members of the Ombatse cult from the
ancestral shrine of the Eggon speaking people of Nasarawa State. Abubakar vowed that nobody or group of persons operating under any name would kill the personnel of the force and go scot-free. “Investigation is ongoing and the outcome of the investigation will be revealed to Nigerians at the most appropriate time. “We cannot keep quiet to allow anybody in this country, whether individual or group of persons, under whatever canopy they call themselves, to kill officers of the police and go scot-free. “There has never been speculation, we have always given the number out, that
we lost 49 police officers, ’’ he said. Commenting on the closure of Wonderland Amusement Park and Amigo Supermarket, the I-G said the closure was part of measures to secure the nation. “There is nothing new, security is security. You know what is happening in the country. “We will go ahead to take any measure that deserves to be taken to ensure that Nigeria is safe and Nigerians are given safe and secured environment. “We shall do everything humanly possible beyond reasoning to ensure that Nigeria is safe and our people are safe and secured no matter what it takes,’’ he said.
Complaints trail commencement of cash-lite policy
s the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) commences the cashlite policy of N150,000 third party cash withdrawal, many bank customers became stranded as they could not take beyond the stipulated amount. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who visited some commercial and microfinance banks in Enugu on Monday, reports that the customers were complaining about their inability to withdraw at will. At the banking halls of First Bank, Zenith, UBA and U m u c h i n e m e r e Microfinance banks, it was the same story of complaints, accusations and counteraccusations. A customer and businessman, Mr Boniface Chinwuba, said he needed N500,000 to purchase some building materials, but could not do so because of the policy. According to Chinwuba, who was apparently ignorant of the policy, the banks should have announced through the media that the policy was starting today. “Look at the trouble I am passing through. In fact, I will pull my account from this bank,’’ he said. Mrs Maria Okolo, a private school proprietress, said she came to withdraw N300,000 to pay her workers, but could not do so. Okolo appealed for extension of time to enable customers adjust to the new policy. It was a different story at U m u c h i n e m e r e Microfinance bank as the bank could not afford to meet customers’ demand due to its inability to withdraw money from commercial banks. An official of the microfinance bank, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he expected that microfinance banks should be exempted from the policy due to their method of operation. “Most times, we withdraw money from commercial banks to service our customers but with this development, it is now impossible,’’ he said. An official of one of the commercial banks told NAN that some of the complaints would soon be addressed. He said that it was a regular thing with any change of policy. Efforts to get reactions from the CBN office in Enugu failed as officials declined to speak and referred the NAN correspondent to its headquarters in Abuja.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Peoples Parliament Achieving a credible election ahead of 2015 As the nation gears towards achieving credible election come 2015, Abuja street parliamentarians maintain in a vox pop conducted by UDE EJIKEME that only free and fair elections would fast track the nation’s growth and development. Excerpts. Peterside Orji o matter whatever view anyone may hold on the present effort by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to put in place a sound electoral system in collaboration of the National Assembly (NASS), the truth still remains that our orientation and attitude to life needs to change to pave way for true democratic spirit. A nation can only develop if like Americans we fight for the common good of every citizen of Nigeria regardless of ethnic diversity, religious believe and social interest. However in proffering solutions to the way out of our present state of electoral malfunction , I suggest that in the current National constitution amendment, priority should be given to the aspects of the Nigerian constitution that would enable the nation achieve free and fair elections, because this is key to solving the problems that presently bedevil the country. Our problem is that we move one step forward and then two backwards. When we make progress we do not maintain it, in other developed nations of the world they maintain progress. I am interested in ensuring that Nigeria grows. This is why the ongoing constitution amendment, most Nigerians are particular that priority ought to be given to aspects of the constitution which shall ensure free and fair elections. Once this problem is solved Nigeria shall being to excel. In fact we will develop faster than China because the energy in Nigeria is tremendous. Bumi Abidoye We want a situation where after elections all matters concerning the electoral litigations and court cases would have been solved and concluded before swearing in. This thing has been done before in this country, we don’t have to look to America to set an example. In 1979 after the presidential elections, the electoral matters in the court were finished before the swearing in of the officers. Our problem is that we do not maintain progresses. Also we ask that all elections should be held on the same day. This will save cost and guarantee better participation. For instance, some people that may only want to vote for a particular presidential candidate during the presidential election alone, will now be made to join in voting for the legislative members because the
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega
whole voting hold on the same day. As we can testify, when massive number of citizens turn out to vote it will be very difficult to rig or manipulate the process and therefore, there will be sanity in the process. It is possible. Kabiru Ibn Muahmmad I believe in coming together with other opposition parties concerning the merger talks between the opposition parties in the country. Efforts are on in talks between the parties. It has never happened before that three years before the general elections, the opposition in the country are talking about merging. I believe because of this, and God’s help, the opposition parties will succeed. I want to assure Nigerians that this time the merger will work, with the help of the Almighty Allah. We are not against any political party, or individual. We are only working so that the country should play a major role in the world as it naturally endowed to be respected. In short, the nation is our first consideration in all that we do. Aishatu Idrisu I believe in zoning. My people in the North uphold it. At the right time, there will be zoning for the offices in which we will field candidates in the 2015 elections. But there are factors that we consider as we zone. First, we will consider the mood of the people, secondly the acceptability of the individual presented to the electorates, and then the competence of the candidates. Should the opposition parties merge, zonining will be a key aspect
in the constitution of the new body, and I assure you that it will be upheld to the letter because the leaders are honourable people. Udensi Udenta udensi This country is our first and only consideration on whatever we want to do. I believe that a politician is a person who will put the interest of his nation first. We want to be in power because we claim to solve the problems that bedevil the country. Insecurity, lack of power, and sadly, now we are importing petroleum products while we should be exporting them. To worsen the situation, the unity of the nation is now threatened more than ever before. I condemn the negative image that politicians have given partisan politics in Nigeria. As a result, I call on academics to join politics in order to change the perception of politics in Nigeria, because academic endeavour is meant to prepare, train and equip an individual for political office. Nigerian universities used to be among the very best in the world, but
now it is not so anymore. In fact, people from this country travel even to neighbouring Benin Republic, Ghana, and Togo to acquire higher learning. This is not right. We must do more for education. The government needs to spend more money in the education sector. It must ensure that infrastructures in the universities are upgraded, so that people would be able to defend their certificate after graduation. Why I call on the academics to join politics is because, academic activities train you, prepare you and make you think. Politics is noble, as a political office holder, you are a servant, who is supposed to be below the law and not above it. Ufom Nsikak Education and free and fair elections will help to inspire confidence and trust in the hearts of the citizen and therefore ensure peace in the land. The will of the Nigerian people must remain supreme. If the citizens know that the people they elected in the polls is running over them they will have confidence and trust in the government. Engendering free and fair elections therefore is a very easy way to curb insecurity of lives and poverty. I want the federal Government to do everything possible to curb insecurity, it should invest more and do more in this area in order to guarantee free and fair elections in 2015. Ogogo Idahosa I want to express my optimism that Nigeria will develop faster than China if free and fair election is achieved in the country. However the question most analysts have continued to ask is; does the nation’s problem lie with credible election or on the process of trying to organise a fraud free election in the country?. The answer to this is in the lips and hands of all Nigerians. Our electoral system must this time around be emulated by other developed nations, after-all, we have come of age as the nation marks it centenary in 2013.
‘Our problems is that we do not maintain progresses. Also we ask that all elections should be held on the same day. This will save cost and guarantee better participation. For instance, some people that may only want to vote for a particular presidential candidate during the presidential election alone, will now be made to join in voting for the legislative members because the whole voting hold on the same day’
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Jonathan restates commitment to Rule of Law in fight against terrorism
resident Goodluck Jonathan on Monday reiterated the determination of his administration to ensure that all actions of government conform to the Rule of Law. Jonathan said while declaring open the Centenary Law Summit in Abuja that government would continue to ensure that human rights norms were strictly observed in the ongoing fight against terror in the country. “Let me use this opportunity to reiterate the Federal Government’s resolve to ensure that human right norms are dully observed and the freedom and liberty of the people are not unduly abridged in our war against terror. “The armed forces and other security personnel dealing with insurgencies and other security challenges in the states where state of emergency had been declared had been given orders to ensure that they discharge their duties with conformity with the rule of engagements. “
Lawmaker sheds tears at orphanage in Kogi
he Majority Leader, Kogi House of Assembly, Alhaji Yakubu Yunusa, on Monday shed tears when he visited Ministry of Mercy Orphanage, Anisha village, Lokoja. The orphanage has 85 children comprising 39 males and 46 females between the ages of 0 and 6. Yunusa, who accompanied the Speaker of the House, Alhaji MomohJimoh Lawal, to the orphanage, could not hold back his tears on seeing the children. He wondered how vicissitudes of life could deal so harshly with mankind for them to abandon such “wonderful children.” Yunusa prayed to God to bless the
management of the home for their effort, saying that no amount of money could compensate that. He urged individuals, organisations and government at all levels to come to the aid of the less-privileged. Speaking earlier, the speaker said the visit was part of the activities marking the second year anniversary of the 5th legislature and an opportunity to reach out to the less-privileged in the society, especially the orphans. He promised to advise the state Governor, Capt. Idris Wada, to give employment to two graduates and a serving National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members, who were products of
the orphanage. Lawal donated cash, food items, beverages and toiletries worth thousands of Naira to the home for the up-keep of the children. The Proprietor of the home, Mr Daniel Edeh, thanked the speaker for the visit, saying, “your visit to the less privileged today, which is the first of its kind by the house, would boost their morale. “This is a clear message to the lessprivileged in our society that they are important and not sub-human as some people ignorantly consider them to be.” He urged the state to fence the home, saying, “one of our concern is the safety and security of the children.”
Dana crash victims’ families seek FG’s intervention on compensation
ome bereaved families of the June, 3, 2012, Dana plane crash on Monday urged the Federal Government to intervene on issues regarding the payment of compensation. Representatives of the families told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the unveiling of cenotaph by President Goodluck Jonathan that many of the victims’ families had yet to be paid. They prayed the Federal Government step in to ensure that the compensations due the families were paid before the end of the year. Mr Ojo Olugbenga, a family member to one of the victims, said that the Aviation minister was claiming that there were legal battles holding the payment. “The government can intervene by giving an ultimatum on the time frame when the insurance company should pay the claims. “By so doing, any pending cases in the court, between the family members and other delays will be addressed in order for the compensations to be paid. “It is sad enough that we lost our family members; it weakens our minds to keep remembering the incident by having to pursue the insurance company for the compensation,’’ he said. Mrs Grace Mbong, the wife to one of the crash victims, said that the family had waited long but nothing had been paid to her family. “I was weighed down by the news at the
initial stage; I was also discouraged by the way the people are telling us to go and come back. “Even when we went to the Dana office in Lagos and showed the necessary documents, nothing was done; but they kept calling us and encouraging us not to give up,’’ she said. Dr Andrew Editan, another family member also urged the government to appeal to the Dana airline’s insurance company handling the claims to speed up the process. Mr Ade Adeniran, the Station Manager of Dana Airline, told NAN that the insurance company would make sure that the victims’ families were all attended to in due time. NAN recalls that the Minister of Aviation, Ms Stella Oduah, had on May 30 in a news conference said that the ministry had come up with several industry safety initiatives. She said that part of the programmes was the upgrade of safety-critical infrastructure in the sector to avert a future occurrence of the Dana debacle. Oduah said that the ministry, through the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) 2013, had instituted a new family insurance scheme to aid families of crash victims in the country. Meanwhile, some clergy men who graced the occasion condoled with the families of the victims and called on the Federal Government to ensure safety was
achieved in the nation’s airspace. Arch Bishop Mathew Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, at the interdenominational Church Services held in remembrance of the crash victims encouraged the families to be strong in God. He advised Nigerians and other flight customers not to give up on entering Dana aircraft. “The families should rise above the situation and give thanks to God for having another opportunity to grace this occasion. “As a nation, let us give Him the place in our hearts so that He will keep saving us from evil. “The families should be strong in order to take proper care of themselves and the other people left behind, they should hold one another at this crucial time,’’ he said. Kukah commended the Federal Government, especially the Ministry of Aviation for development in the industry and the extent they had gone to ensure that the victims’ families were attended to. Mr Andrew Omale, another cleric, also charged the family members of the crash victims to remember that they had duties to perform to add value to the society. NAN reports that the service was held at the General Aviation Terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA). Master Samuel Mbong, 4, one of the victims’ sons, assisted President Goodluck Jonathan to unveil the cenotaph in honour of the crash victims.
Dana plane crash: First Lady prays for repose of souls of victims
irst Lady Dame Patience Jonathan on Monday prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the June 3, 2012 Dana Plane crash. This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja and signed by Mr Ayo Osinlu, the Special Assistant (Media) to the First Lady. “I pray that God Almighty will continue to console the family of the departed ones and grant them enduring fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss. “It has obviously been a long painful year for the families of the victims, but it is my belief that the Almighty himself will assuage their pains and provide a daily renewal of strength for them,” she said. Jonathan beseeched the Lord to grant the souls of the victims eternal rest in His perfect peace. She urged Nigerians to pray for their leaders at all times. “I urge Nigerians to use this period to pray to God to grant our leaders, wisdom to continue to provide purposeful leadership for the peace, progress and prosperity of Nigeria” the First Lady said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that 153 people including crew members died in the plane, which crashed into a furniture works and printing press building in Lagos. It was the second deadliest plane crash in the country’s aviation history after the January 1973 Nigerian Airways Boeing 707 crash in Kano in which 176 pilgrims died.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Slowing Nigerian grain trade threatens Sahel food security HIGHLIGHTS: ·Low supply, abnormally high prices, ·Boko Haram insurgency disrupts farming ·Emergency stocks down ·Call for “fluidity of trade”
orthern Nigeria’s grain trade, which supplies almost half of the Sahel’s cereals, has slowed severely, while abnormally high prices of staple grains across the Sahel are causing serious food security concerns in this chronically vulnerable region. The areas most at risk are southeastern and central Niger, which are highly dependent on Nigerian grain flows, as well as northern Nigeria and northern Benin. Chad is somewhat protected from the dynamic, as it produced a healthy harvest in 2012, says FEWS NET. World Food Programme (WFP) market analysts report that grain supply is low in many of the main markets across the region, and that fewer traders from Niger and elsewhere are crossing the border to resupply in Nigeria. Cross-border trade is significantly down in Nigeria’s Maigatari market (near Zinder in Niger), Illela (near Tahoua), Jibya (near Maradi) and Damassack (near Diffa), according to WFP. In highly import-dependent Niger, “this situation must raise a red flag,” said WFP market analyst Jean-Martin Bauer, referring to poor trade conditions that spurred Niger’s 2005 and to some extent the 2010 food crises. “If trade slows down from Nigeria to Niger, it’s a huge issue for all countries depending on Nigeria,” he said. In the worst-affected areas, staple grain prices are higher than in 2012 when the region experienced a widespread food crisis. A 100kg bag of maize in Kano, the region’s largest grains market, cost 7,400 Nigerian naira (US$47) in March 2013, compared to 6,000 naira ($38) the same time last year; while a 100kg bag of millet cost 8,000 naira ($51) in March 2013, versus 7,500 naira ($47) last year. The poorest families in the Sahel are entirely dependent on markets for foods and may spend 80 percent of their household income on food, according to ECHO. “High prices lock these people out of the market,” said European Union aid body ECHO’s Sahel coordinator Hélène Berton. Why deficits? The problem is multi-faceted but in northern Nigeria, local deficits - because of widespread flooding last year are being compounded by insecurity, according to FEWS NET markets and trade adviser Sonja Melissa Perakis. Further, many producers of millet and tubers in Nigeria turned to cash crops last year, causing a deficit in these staple grains, points out a May 2013 FEWS NET report. Millet production in northern Nigeria, for instance, declined by 13 percent in 2012, as compared to the five-year average. The Boko Haram insurgency forced many farmers southwards away from their fields this planting season, said Aminu Mohammed, secretary of the Dawanau Grain Traders Association in Kano, an umbrella union comprising the largest cereals market in West Africa. At the same time, ongoing fighting and outright conflict between Boko Haram and Nigerian security forces has kept traders lying low in recent months. Many transporters are too scared to cross borders. Nigerian’s emergency agency NEMA
Niger families such as this one in Diffa, are likely to suffer from Nigeria grain shortage Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN estimates 65 percent of farmers in northeastern Nigeria’s fertile Lake Chad basin have fled southwards to escape Boko Haram-related violence. FEWS NET and WFP are currently assessing the drivers of the dynamic and will produce a report soon. In many Sahelian countries, millet and maize production was up in 2012. However, a 6 percent decline in Nigerian production of these grains (as well as yams and cassava) in 2012 offset three-quarters of the gain seen elsewhere - because of the size of the Nigerian market, according to FEWS NET. “Economic engine” broken down Farmers, herders and traders from other countries rely on Nigeria, with its population of 162.5 million and its economic might, as the most important market for their products. Severely depleted demand in Nigeria for cash crops such as sesame, and for livestock, is driving down prices. “Nigeria is the economic engine of West Africa - if it breaks down, there’s trouble,” said Bauer. Typically a pastoralist from Niger can trade a goat for 100kg of millet with a Nigerian trader, but in April 2013 a goat fetched just 93kg, according to WFP’s market information system in Niger’s Abalak market in Tahoua Region. Another result of the situation is abnormal trade flows, with maize and millet being exported to Nigeria from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger rather than the other way round, according to FEWS NET. “Don’t waste time” Aid efforts need to be scaled up, said ECHO’s Berton, as the few humanitarian
agencies present in northern Nigeria “are overstretched”. “The food crisis that is presently looming in Nigeria needs more resources… It could have serious repercussions in neighbouring countries,” she said. ECHO, one of the principal humanitarian donors to the Sahel, gave 9.8 million euros to Nigeria to fund nutrition, cash transfers, livelihoods and other projects, mainly in the north and to flood-affected areas; this is relatively little compared to the 55 million euros given for emergency response to both Chad and Niger. WFP gives families in Niger 32,500 CFA ($65) per month, up from 25,000 ($50) two years ago. The amount might need to be raised further, given the falling value of the cash due to high prices. “We could at least compensate for that,” he added. This could work where food is available, said FEWS NET’s market adviser in Mali, Louali Ibrahim. In other areas emergency food aid will be needed. “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem.” Thanks to the resilience debate, the Sahel is still on the map this year following last year’s food crisis, said Bauer, but severe funding shortfalls remain. WFP needs $312 million in food and cash to fund its Sahel response from May to December 2013, he added. The Sahel funding appeal was only 28 percent funded as of 24 May, despite the lean season being fully under way. National response In most countries national governments are constrained by depleted
national emergency stocks, having exhausted them in the 2012 Sahel crisis response, according to Ibrahim. Most national stocks are under 50 percent replenished, says FEWS NET. To get out of the current mess, governments and traders must not restrict regional trade flows, warned Bauer. “Markets in the Sahel support food security. When they do not operate well, we see problems at the household level,” he said. “We saw that in 2005; we saw it in 2010… We need fluidity of trade.” While no official trade barriers have been put in place, it is impossible to say what happens unofficially, said Ibrahim. Governments must try to reduce customs duty and hassle for transporters to the degree that they can. “Otherwise we’ll just see a bad situation get worse.” But tensions are mounting in the marketplace, according to Mohammed of the Dawanau Grain Traders Association. The combination of low supply and high demand from Niger is putting a serious strain on the local market in the north, where grain stockpiles are severely depleted, he said. “Nigerien traders are mopping up whatever grains they can lay their hands on,” he said. Many traders pay cash in advance, he said, giving them an edge over local consumers. “We sometimes go to villages to glean [buy] whatever we find at local markets to avoid completely running out of stock.” He anticipates things will get worse during Ramadan in July, when demand for millet is predicted to soar. The price of millet has risen month-on-month since February, he said.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Around the World The Battle to Save DRC’s Mothers Mugabe brushes T off retirement pressure By Taylor Toeka Kakala
imbabwean President Robert Mugabe said he will not step down because of pressure from Britain and other countries for a change in government. “I’ve thought about retirement, but not when the British are saying we want regime change,” the 89-yearold president told Kyodo News in an interview in the Japanese city of Yokohama. “I won’t be changed by the British. My people will change me.” Mugabe has ruled uninterrupted since independence from Britain in 1980, despite a series of disputed and violent elections and a severe economic crash propelled by hyper-inflation. He has been widely condemned for human rights abuses. Mugabe said there was no democracy in Zimbabwe before independence. “We brought democracy to the country,” he told Kyodo. The president signed a new constitution into law last month, clearing the path to crucial elections later this year. The charter introduces presidential term limits and strengthens parliament’s powers, but could allow Mugabe to stay on for another decade if he wins elections. Mugabe is visiting Japan to attend the three-day Tokyo International Conference for African Development ending Monday in Yokohama.
he health sector in the DRC faces serious medical challenges including having to deal with obsolete biomedical equipment, the lack of cold rooms for vaccine storage, and a shortage of qualified personnel, Baabo told IPS. He added that a lack of maternity wards in the country posed an obstacle to health care here. But a lack of maternity facilities is not what the people of Matanda, a region in North Kivu province, have to worry about any longer. Theophile Kaboy, the Catholic bishop of Goma, opened a maternity ward in Matanda’s local health centre on May 15. The local diocesan medical office manages the health centre. “I am not used to giving birth in a maternity ward since one had to travel between two and three days before giving birth in Kirotse (30 km away) or to Masisi (25 km away),” Jeannette Uwera, the first woman to give birth at the new maternity ward in Matanda’s local health centre, told IPS. Mado Uwiteka, another Matanda resident, told IPS that in the past she had to be “carried to the maternity hospital in Kirotse on a stretcher by foot to deliver two of my children.” “My three other children were delivered at home,” Uwiteka said. Two of her three children that were delivered at home died before their first birthday. “But it was easy to get to the maternity hospital in Matanda because it’s close by,” she added. However, in North Kivu, where a long-running conflict has raged, civil society representatives point out that humanitarian agencies have replaced the state – which has practically abdicated responsibility in every sector. For the past five years, babies have been born in health centres
managed by humanitarian organisations. Along every road, you can see new or rehabilitated structures fitted out by humanitarian agencies, “in line with the provincial health inspectorate’s programme,” Baabo noted. The State of the World’s Mothers 2013 report released on May 7 by international NGO Save the Children ranked the DRC last out of 176 countries on its Mother’s Index. It assesses the well being of mothers according to a number of factors, including maternal health figures and under-five mortality. The report states that one in 30 women in the DRC is at risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications. In Finland, ranked first on the index, only one out of 12,200 women is at risk. Speaking to health sector representatives on May 10 in DRC’s capital, Kinshasa, Congolese
Health Minister Felix Kabange reacted to the report with an admission that this central African nation will not be able to meet its United Nations Millennium Development Goals to reduce infant mortality by two thirds between 1990 and 2015, or to reduce maternal mortality by three quarters over the same period. The eight MDGs, adopted by all U.N. member states in 2000, aim to curb poverty, disease and gender inequality. Although maternal mortality has fallen from 1,800 deaths per live birth to 549 since 1990, “if we continue to deal with the situation in the same way, the country will not even meet these goals in 2065,” the minister said. Kalume Mushaba, an obstetrics lecturer at the University of Goma, believes that the DRC’s problem is one of leadership. He said that health
“Many hospitals and health centres” that are not run by NGOs “do not meet health standards,” according to Dominique Baabo, provincial medical inspector for North Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
allocations in this country have never exceeded five percent of the national budget. The DRC is a signatory to the 2001 Abuja Declaration, in which African countries pledged to allocate 15 percent of their national budgets to health. Together with Afghanistan, Haiti and the Darfur region in western Sudan, the DRC is amongst the world’s most volatile regions, and receives the most development aid. “Despite this, we are ranked last on the human development index,” Mushaba told IPS. According to a 2009 study by the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), health care remains unaffordable for eight out of 10 women. North Kivu has one doctor per 23,328 inhabitants and one nurse for every 1,100 inhabitants. The World Health Organization recommends one doctor per 10,000 inhabitants. These figures show an overall poor quality of healthcare in North Kivu, the UNDP study said. In order to improve maternal and infant health, Mushaba appealed to authorities to address the “three delays” that prevent women from seeking or obtaining care. These are the reluctance to use maternity hospitals for financial or cultural reasons; lack of transport to, or knowledge of, existing services; and inadequate equipment or shortages of qualified personnel. A month ago, the government signed over 12 million dollars to the U.N. Children’s Fund to purchase radiology and ultrasound equipment, generators, operating tables and solar-powered refrigerators, for the 70 general referral hospitals in the DRC. This marks a new start, said Kabange. Included in the equipment, which was received on May 10, were 200 gynaecological tables, 5,000 hospital beds, 7,200 examination beds, and pharmaceutical products, the health minister said. “We want to save the lives of more mothers and children, and to protect newborns,” he added
From videos of US blunders to secret files: Manning’s leaks
rom videos of US military blunders to Guantanamo detainee files, Bradley Manning is accused of slipping 250,000 diplomatic cables and 500,000 classified military documents to WikiLeaks. Turned into the FBI by US hacker Adrian Lamo with whom he was chatting, the US Army private faces a courtmartial starting Monday for having transmitted the files from databases to which he had access as an analyst in Iraq to the secret-spilling website. Created in 2006 by Australian Julian Assange as a portal for the anonymous release of restricted information,
WikiLeaks billed the trove of materials as the biggest ever. Washington is still investigating whether Assange encouraged Manning to disclose more details, in which case the Australian may be prosecuted in the United States. While WikiLeaks has always denied knowing the source of the leaks, the US government says the documents were sent to the site from November 2009 until Manning’s arrest in March 2010: — The first document published by WikiLeaks, on February 18, 2010, that Manning admitted to having leaked was a diplomatic cable
from the US Embassy in Iceland. — What followed, in stages between February 2010 and September 2011, were more than a quarter of a million State Department cables from US embassies and consulates dated 1966 to 2010. Starting in November 2010, five major news organizations around the world — The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde and El Pais — collaborated with WikiLeaks to partially publish the material. — Manning admitted to the “willful transmission” of a video that showed a US combat
helicopter shooting at Iraqi civilians in July 2007. Dubbed “collateral murder” by WikiLeaks, the video was made public by Assange during a news conference in Washington in April 2010. — The soldier also acknowledged he had transmitted a confidential video of a US air strike on the Afghan village of Granai, where more than a hundred civilians lost their lives in May 2009. — More than 90,000 documents linked to the war in Afghanistan were published in July 2010, followed in October 2010 by more than 400,000
others connected to the conflict in Iraq. These included confidential Pentagon reports revealing abuse, torture and killings of civilians. — Confidential files made public since April 2011 of 779 detainees who passed through the military prison at Guantanamo Bay revealed that a majority of those incarcerated there had not been charged. The documents also showed their mental state or the content of their statements, including those made by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed architect of the September 11 attacks.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Around the World Hong Kong battles to kick the ketamine habit Hidden away from the prying eyes of crowded Hong Kong, in school toilets, karaoke bars and public parks, young people are snorting a powerful and addictive drug— ketamine. Cheap and abundant, with a supply flooding across the border from the mainland, abuse reached such levels in the late 2000s that the city was dubbed the ketamine capital of the world. But in recent years Hong Kong has fought back, campaigning against what is a psychologically addictive drug that
Cote d’Ivoire, UN body sign enhanced military cooperation agreement
he Ivorian government at the weekend in Abidjan signed an enhanced military cooperation agreement with the UN Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. A statement from the Ivorian Defence Ministry said the agreement was signed by Bert Koenders, Head of the UN operation and the Ivorian Defence Minister, Paul Koffi. It quoted the minister as describing the agreement as aimed at strengthening collaboration between the two forces towards ensuring peace in the country. He said that the first line of the initiative involved the establishment of a sponsorship mechanism between the military units of UNOCI and the Republican Forces of Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI). “This is to promote mutual understanding between the officers and troops, and secondly, to establish local procedures for mutual work towards facilitating joint missions and partnership. “The second area of cooperation focuses on strengthening the training support for FRCI by UNOCI and other partners, including the French Licorne Force,’’ the statement quoted Koffi as saying. The minister said that the agreement will also provide for a special focus on training on the protection of civilians and respect for International Humanitarian Law. It also quoted Koenders as describing the agreement as a good step towards repositioning of the FRCI for better services. He commended the trust and good working relationship between the UNOCI and the Ivorian government.
Kenya vice president Ruto to go on trial September 10
enya’s Deputy President William Ruto will go on trial for crimes against humanity in September in connection with deadly post-violence in 2007-08, the International Criminal Court said Monday.”The trial chamber decided to set the opening on September 10 in order to allow the defence sufficient time to carry out its preparations,” The Hague-based ICC said in a statement.
Glass capsules containing ketamine are seen in Bang Pa In on June 26, 2008. can cause irreversible health problems and take longer to treat than heroin. On an isolated, jungled island, far from the city’s gleaming skyline, a group of young men are working bare-chested under the sun, painting the outside wall of a building. This is the Shek Kwu Chau residential treatment centre, and these are some of its “clients”, ketamine abusers who come from mostly middle-class homes, with an average age of around 25. Kin, now 27, arrived here after a 10year habit that saw him go from user to dealer. He told AFP he only tried the drug in the first place to show his friend he didn’t need it. “I didn’t realize it had such an attraction. I felt so weightless and free after taking it. I was in love with this feeling and got addicted to it,” he said. Ketamine, which is closely related to PCP or “angel dust”, is used as an anaesthetic on both humans and animals. The drug, often synthesized in clandestine laboratories in mainland China, can render users immobile. But it also makes them feel relaxed and floaty, and can produce a hallucinatory out-of-body experience known as the “Khole”. The center’s superintendent Patrick Wu said ketamine’s psychological pull meant the rehabilitation programme, which includes counselling and vocational work, lasted at least six months, compared to just two months for heroin. “Yes, there’s not a physical addiction, but they are very much psychologically addicted,” he said. “They want to taste the excitement, it’s always on their mind.”
The government-funded center is run by SARDA (Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers), and is both free and voluntary. It mostly caters to heroin addicts but in 2010 it opened up to ketamine abusers after a sharp rise in cases. The young men live together as a “family” in simple stone houses overlooking the sea, 16 narrow bunks in a room. In 2009 ketamine abuse peaked at 5,280 reported users, according to statistics from Hong Kong’s central registry of drug abuse. More than half of those were under 21, an age group in which among reported drug users, 84 percent took ketamine. By last year the number had fallen to 3,192, though drug workers warn its use is easily hidden, and often takes a long time to surface. Narcotics Commissioner Erika Hui put the success of reducing ketamine down to a “holistic” five-pronged approach involving law enforcement, education, treatment, research and cross-border cooperation. “Our focus has been to encourage people to seek help early rather than hiding. The first priority will be to assist rather than to catch or prosecute people for taking drugs,” she said. The success of this strategy could point the way for other countries with ketamine problems, like Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, though it would “depend on the local circumstances”, Hui said. Criminologist Dr Alfred Mak of Hong Kong University said one reason locals were drawn to ketamine was because it was so cheap, costing around HK$100 ($13) for a small bag that could be shared amongst friends — a fraction of the price
of cocaine. But he also said the drug was “particularly suited” to the environment. “We live in a very narrow space and we have a lot of interference, even from our neighbours, but people can take this drug in a hidden and secluded place,” he said. Ah-Wai started snorting ketamine in the top floor toilets of his school when he was just 16. “You can take it any time, any place, and people won’t know what you are doing,” he told AFP. He found the buzz of confidence hard to resist, but over time he was also struggling to concentrate, found it hard to explain his bleary appearance, fought with classmates and was eventually expelled. He also became unable to hold his bladder for more than 15 minutes, afraid to use the bus in case he wet himself. One day he fell unconscious in the street, waking up three days later in hospital. Dr Peggy Chu, a consultant urologist at Tuen Mun hospital, first linked ketamine to bladder problems in 2006. Her pioneering research helped highlight the drug’s sometimes irreversible consequences. Every week she sees patients whose bladders have been shrivelled because of ketamine, with some forced to wear incontinence pants. “Currently it’s still not treatable. The only thing that works is to stop taking the ketamine,” she said, noting that while some people will regain full capacity other heavy users will not. Ketamine’s other health effects also include shortness of breath, heart problems, cognitive impairment and mental problems. Hong Kong security officials say ketamine is smuggled from the mainland in small quantities, likening the process to “ants moving home”. It can be carried in liquid form hidden, for example, in a contact lens bottle. Last year police and customs seized 724 kilogrammes of the drug, recording 1,677 ketamine-related cases, a drop from 3,679 cases in 2009. Both seizures and cases far outnumbered those for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Ah-Wai, now 22, said he had lost all confidence before arriving at Shek Kwu Chau, but was now managing to rebuild his life. He is living in a half-way house, working with his father and hoping to become an electrician. “I would tell any teenagers who wanted to try ketamine about my own experience,” he said. “I would tell them how much I lost in the past two years, and how much of a waste it was.”
Cat caught smuggling cell phones into Russian jail
he Russian prison service said Monday it had caught a cat being used as a courier to smuggle banned cell phones and chargers into a prison camp in the country’s remote far north. The prison service in the Komi region said on its website that the cat was detained Friday evening as it climbed the fence of the region’s Number One corrective labour camp with two cell phones,
batteries and chargers strapped to its back using tape. It posted a photograph of the black-and-white cat held up by the scruff of its neck by a guard with the bulky package still stuck to its fur. “They have foiled various attempts to smuggle banned objects into Prison Colony Number One before, but in the case of the cat, the prison colony is at a loss: nothing like this has happened in the prison’s history,” the regional prison service said.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Foreign countries pushing for Nigeria's break up? -What has Qatar and Al Jazeera got to do with Nigeria’s insecurity?
atar based , government owned Al Jazeera news media recently released a video of a purported Nigerian soldier whose identity was cleverly disguised claiming aggravated civilian deaths in Government’s offensive against Boko Haram militants. Al-Jazeera’s video raised a lot of questions among Nigerians, some of which are: -What are Al Jazeera’s intentions in Nigeria’s security quagmire? -Did Al Jazeera ensure the credibility of the so-called soldier in the video and his claim that he saw over 3000 civilian dead bodies at the “front-line,” since the May 14th Military action? Where are these “3000 dead bodies now?” - What is Al Jazeera’s preceedent in scrutinizing and “exposing government crack-downs by brutal regimes in the Middle East? -Has Al Jazeera’s reporting on the al Qaeda insurgency and militant action in Syria been above board, with terroristrebels declaring full allegiance to al Qaeda, being caught with Sarin gas and even eating the heart of government troops? -How did it fare in reporting on the terrorist action in the Libya Gaddafi overthrow that later led predictably to the death of US Ambassador Stevens? -Why has Al Jazeera been obviously and un pretensiously upset from the very first day President Goodluck’s Nigerin government announced a state of emergency in response to Boko Haram with the Doha based network immediately publishing videos suggesting the government is “worse than Boko Haram?” -Does Al Jazeera and Qatar prefer a Boko Haram government in Nigeria to the Goodluck administration?” -Why would Al Jazeera show a video of only one house with a narration of “houses seen here?” -Why did Al Jazeera say, “civilians among dead,” if its reliable source said 3000. -Why would Al Jazeera show as evidence in the video, military fatigue clad dead Boko Haram rebels, while describing the images as being those of civilians? Is Al Jazeera promoting Boko Haram as a civilian association? Many questions ‘few answers. Recently, there has been increased protests against Qatari influence and meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs. A BBC article last January highlights the “hypocrisy,’” of the Qatari reality: Poetic justice But there is an increasingly glaring contrast between Qatar’s support for revolutions abroad and Qataris’ lack of representation at home. Qatar’s state-owned Arabic language TV channel, Al Jazeera, embraced most of the Arab uprisings with enthusiasm – except when protests came in neighbouring Bahrain, which was too close to home. The state is helping the new governments of Egypt and Tunisia with aid and investment, and is one of the key backers of the Syrian opposition. However , power in Qatar rests with
just four key people; the emir, his wife, the prime minister and the Crown Prince. Most Qataris seem content with their leaders and no one should bear them any grudge. It is also risky for them to show discontent with their leaders as can be freely done in Nigeria. Ask Mohammed al-Ajami, a poet who has been sentenced to life in prison for a poem deemed “insulting” to the emir. Where was Qatar and Al Jazeera when Boko Haram had miraculous successes in operations which led to the death of thousands of Nigerians in churches, mosques and even markets? Last week, several Lebanese in Nigeria were arrested with a bunker load of dangerous weapons, AK472 s, Grenades, grenade launchers and thousands of rounds. This only goes to confirm the fear of many Nigerians about foreign input in the increasing wave of terrorism in Nigeria. In 2011 an article by the News+Rescue and published on its website had this to say Qatar’s possible roles in the Boko about Haram crisis in Nigeria: “Boko Haram linked to Qatar, Western Powers” “ The radical Islamist group allegedly responsible for a spate of bombings across the Northern region and capital of Nigeria,
Boko Haram(Western civilization is bad) has finally begun to reveal its long sought roots. A recent report in the Nigerian THEWILL magazine detailed links to Mauritanian ex premiere Maaouya Ould Taya, the dictator who seized power in a coup in 1984 and led Mauritania as president and Prime Minister till he was ousted in 2005 and fled through Banjul Gambia to Doha, Qatar where he now resides under impunity. The former soldier, who was a strong ally of the United States, France and Israel during his reign, has lived in Doha, Qatar with his family since August 22, 2005, after he was offered asylum in the Arab state, the report gathered. The Algerian government Sunday announced that it has credible intelligence
that Boko Haram has linked up with al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) which has its North African headquarters in Algeria. Deputy Foreign Minister, Abdelkader Messahel told journalists that intelligence report show both groups have been coordinating. We have no doubts that coordination exists between Boko Haram and al Qaeda, Messahel said. Is Maaouya Ould Taya the African point man designated by the powers that be, in charge of coordinating, training and developing the AQIM branch in Nigeria?” According to News+Rescue there is a motive for support of AQIM and Boko Haram in Nigeria! “Why would Doha, Qatar and ultimately the western powers wish for a powerful radical terrorist group in Nigeria? As happened in Libya, is this a means of ultimately overthrowing Nigeria’s government to gain control of Nigeria’s abundant resources? Nigeria is the 14th top oil producer in the world with an estimated over 36 Billion barrels of oil reserve. The Nation among other African Nations rejected an American military presence under the AFRICOM program on its soil. The United States it is known desperately seeks a military presence in Africa to counter China’s increasing influence in the natural resource abundant continent. With the global recession, collapse of Europe and increasing trouble and sacking of European leaders, the western powers are beginning to show more and more desperation to acquire and secure greater resource”. Is there a precedent? News +Rescue thinks so. It says : “The 1985 coup, and overthrow of some of the best leaders in Nigeria’s history, the Buhari-Idiagbon regime, was an instance of CIA-Arab cooperation to undermine Nigeria. In that instance, the BuhariIdiagbon regime had refused IMF loans and SAP regulations. The king of Saudi Arabia, King Fahd was then instructed to invite both leaders to the pilgrimage, this was to enable the brutal Babangida regime with ties to the CIA take over in the 1985 coup, and of course they immediately accepted World Bank, IMF offers and SAP regulations followed”. The veracity of this claim can not be confirmed by Reporters dispatch Whatever the reasons may be for the ever increasing foreign meddling and support of terror in Nigeria, the danger is grave. With the invasion and destruction of Libya, thousands of deadly ammunition’s are all over North and West Africa in the hands of terrorists. These weapons include anti-aircraft missiles. The NATO mission in Libya was one of the worst in recent times, and possibly in history, with no control of ammunition and with the battle organized, fought and won by known terrorists (AQIM). Even commercial airlines are no longer safe flying in the air-spaces over Africa. Nigeria needs to be on highest security alert with securing of its Northern borders against penetration of arms and fighters from Libya and surroundings.If Nigeria needs to break -up into several countries it should be at the behest of Nigerians in a peaceful , constitutional manner and not in a destructive manner as dictated by foreign interests. As an analysis of the casualties of several bombings have shown a stone thrown in the market might kill the thrower’s mother or child or kinsman.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Science & Environment Peak Water, Peak Oil…Now, Peak Soil? By Stephen Leahy
oil is becoming endangered.This reality needs to be part of our collective awareness in order to feed nine billion people by 2050, say experts meeting here in Reykjavík. And a big part of reversing soil decline is carbon, the same element that is overheating the planet. “Soils are like a bank account. You should only draw out what you put in.” — Rattan Lal of Ohio State University “Keeping and putting carbon in its rightful place” needs to be the mantra for humanity if we want to continue to eat, drink and combat global warming, concluded 200 researchers from more than 30 countries. “There is no life without soil,” said Anne Glover, chief scientific advisor to the European Commission. “While soil is invisible to most people it provides an estimated 1.5 to 13 trillion dollars in ecosystem services annually,” Glover said at the Soil Carbon Sequestration conference that ended this week. The dirt beneath our feet is a nearly magical world filled with tiny, wondrous creatures. A mere handful of soil might contain a half million different species including ants, earthworms, fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms. Soil provides nearly all of our food – only one percent of our calories come from the oceans, she said. Soil also gives life to all of the world’s plants that supply us with much of our oxygen, another important ecosystem service. Soil cleans water, keeps contaminants out of streams and lakes, and prevents flooding. Soil can also absorb huge amounts of carbon, second only to the oceans. “It takes half a millennia to build two centimetres of living soil and only seconds to destroy it,” Glover said. Each year, 12 million hectares of land, where 20 million tonnes of grain could have been grown, are lost to land degradation. In the past 40 years, 30 percent of the planet’s arable (foodproducing) land has become unproductive due to erosion. Unless this trend is reversed soon, feeding the world’s growing population will be impossible. The world will likely need “60 percent more food calories in 2050 than in 20063 , according to a new paper released May 30 by the World Resources Institute. Reaching this goal while maintaining economic growth and environmental sustainability is one of the most important global challenges of our time, it concludes. Urban development is a growing factor in loss of arable lands. One million city dwellers occupy 40,000 hectares of land on average, said Rattan Lal of Ohio State University. Plowing, removal of crop residues after harvest, and overgrazing all leave soil naked and vulnerable to wind and rain, resulting in gradual, often unnoticed erosion of soil. This is like tire wear on your car – unless given the attention and respect it deserves, catastrophe is only a matter of time. Erosion also puts carbon into the air where it contributes to climate change.
Healthy soil looks dark, crumbly, and porous, and is home to worms and other organisms. It feels soft, moist, and friable, and allows plant roots to grow unimpeded. Credit: Colette Kessler, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service But with good agricultural practices like using seed drills instead of plows, planting cover crops and leaving crop residues, soils can go from a carbon source to a carbon solution, he said. “Soil can be a safe place where huge amounts of carbon from the atmosphere could be sequestered,” Lal told IPS. When a plant grows it takes CO2 out the atmosphere and releases oxygen. The more of a crop – maize, soy or vegetable – that remains after harvest, the more carbon is returned to the soil. This carbon is mainly found in humus – the rich organic material from decay of plant material. Soil needs to contain just 1.5 percent carbon to be healthy and resilient – more capable of withstanding drought and other harsh conditions. “Healthy soils equals healthy crops, healthy livestock and healthy people,” Lal said. However, most soils suffer from 30 to 60 percent loss in soil carbon. “Soils are like a bank account. You should only draw out what you put in. Soils are badly overdrawn in most places.” Farmers and pastoralists (ranchers) could do “miracles” in keeping carbon in the soil and helping to pull carbon out of the atmosphere and feed the world if they were properly supported, Lal said. The world’s 3.4 billion ha of rangeland and pastures has the potential to sequester or absorb up to 10 percent of the annual carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production, estimates Ólafur Arnalds, a soil scientist at the Agricultural University of Iceland. Eliminating overgrazing and using other pasture management techniques will reduce the number of animals on the land in the short term but it is better for the long term health of grazing lands. While these practises can help with climate change, there many other good reasons to adopt them, Arnalds told IPS. That view is echoed by many here since determining exactly how much carbon a farm field or pasture can absorb from the atmosphere is highly variable and difficult to determine.
Proper land management can help with climate change but in no way does it reduce the need to make major reductions in fossil fuel use, said Guðmundur Halldórsson, a research coordinator at the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland, co-host of the conference. And using farmland or pastures as a ‘carbon sponges’ will lead to all sorts of problems, Halldórsson told IPS. “The real key is adopt practices that enhance soil health to improve food
productivity,” he said. That approach is much more likely to help in improve local livelihoods, protect water resources, improve biodiversity, reduce erosion and help put carbon back into the ground where it belongs, he said. “Iceland overexploited its lands, trying to squeeze more out of the land than it could handle. We call it ‘killing the milk cow’. We can no longer live off the land as we once did.” Situated in the North Atlantic, the windy island was once mostly covered by forests, lush meadows and wetlands when the first settlers arrived nearly 1,000 years ago. By the late 1800s, 96 percent of the forest was gone and half the grasslands destroyed by overgrazing. Iceland became one the world’s poorest countries, its people starved and its landscape remains Europe’s largest desert. Of necessity, Iceland pioneered techniques to halt land degradation and in restoration. And for more than 100 years the Soil Conservation Service has struggled but the gains are small and very slow in coming. Today at least half of the former forests and grasslands are mostly bare and subject to severe erosion by the strong winds. “We’re still fighting overgrazing here,” Halldórsson said. Iceland relies far less on agriculture now and the harsh lessons of poor land management of the past are irrelevant to the 90 percent of Icelanders who now live in urban areas. “The public isn’t supporting land restoration. We’ve forgotten that land is the foundation of life,” Halldórsson said
Huge asteroid, in tandem with rare moon, passes Earth
Close encounter: Radar images from NASA show asteroid 1998 QE2 and its moon when they were about 6 million km from Earth. | AFP-JIJI
n asteroid nearly 3 km wide has passed by Earth, offering scientists a rare chance to study a massive flying object with its own moon. U.S. space agency NASA said ahead of the event that Asteroid 1998 QE2 was to come closest to Earth at 20:59 Greenwich Mean Time on Friday (5:59 a.m. Saturday in Japan), at a distance of 5.8 million km, or about 15 times the distance between Earth and the moon. “This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries,” NASA said. The asteroid was not visible to the naked eye, but radar astronomers were studying it with complementary imaging telescopes in California and Puerto Rico and will continue to analyze it until June 9. On Thursday, NASA scientists using the 70-meter Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, reported that the
asteroid, first discovered in 1998, also appears to have its own moon. The huge flying object is known as a binary asteroid, and is circled by a satellite, or moon, that is about 600 meters wide, NASA said. Scientists hoped that measurements gathered as the asteroid approached and passed would help space agencies track other asteroids, including those that might impact the Earth, and calculate their orbits further in advance. “Radar measurements of asteroid distances and velocities often enable computation of asteroid orbits much further into the future than if radar observations weren’t available,” NASA said. The asteroid-moon duo is in rare company — NASA says about 16 percent of asteroids that are 200 meters or larger are binary or triple systems
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Your Health 8 Healthy Drinks that Are Actually Terrible for You By Marcy Franklin Flickr/ bredgur Coffee, tea, water, juice - it feels like every day more studies confirm that you can get your nutrients from the liquids you put in your body. Just recently, black tea was linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and coffee, a long-touted health elixir, has even been shown to extend life expectancy. And of course we can’t forget to mention the numerous health benefits of plain old water. Best and Worst Summer Coffee Chain Beverages But the drink aisle at the supermarket is filled with far more than H20, and health claims screaming from labels aren’t always what they seem. More antioxidants! More polyphenols! More electrolytes! The list goes on and on. But underneath the label can be a very different story; not every drink is as good for you as you think. After all, if 7UP has to take its “antioxidant” product off the shelves for misleading consumers, we’re sure that other drinks are just as dubious. 6 Dairy Milk Alternatives Hidden in some of these drinks are artificial colors, flavorings, and sweeteners (like aspartame), which many interest groups (like the Center for Science in the Public Interest) warn against in their chemical lists. And in some of these drinks, the mass production simply strips away the nutrients you think you’re getting. Think that fruit juice is the real deal? Not so much when it’s pasteurized and stripped of its fibers and natural fructose. But it’s harder to detect the health pros and cons when labels are deceiving; for example, coconut water boasts its potassium content but studies have shown that many brands don’t actually contain that same amount as what’s on the label. 7 Fast-Food Holiday Drinks to Avoid Even worse, the everyday drinks you pick up at the store may be linked to some more serious health problems than you can imagine. Obviously, obesity and sugar are the most prominent in the discussion; after all, why else would New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg have gone after large sugary drinks? But sodas aren’t the only drink stuffing in tons of sugar - your morning OJ may never taste the same once you realize what’s in it. But the health crisis extends much further than that - infertility problems, heart attacks, cancer, and stroke can all be traced back to the drinks in the supermarket aisle. Click through our list of surprisingly unhealthy drinks, and consider yourself warned. Soy Milk What makes soy milk a good alternative to dairy milk? Besides being allergy-friendly for the lactose intolerant, it packs in the protein, is cholesterol-free, and has hearthealthy omega-3s. But that doesn’t mean soy is all good news. Of course, soy got the most attention when it was linked to breast and prostate cancer, thanks to its phytoestrogen. Because prostate and breast cancer are hormonally driven cancers, doctors have warned against drinking soy milk for fear it would make breast cancer cells spread. And the bad news doesn’t stop there for the dudes: soy has also been linked to infertility. Isoflavones, of which soy milk has plenty, have been linked to decreased fertility in some animal studies. Men’s Health also notes that soy is not just to blame for just decreased sperm count; it may also interfere with testosterone levels and cause some er, some sexual dysfunction. Yikes. And it goes without saying that those flavored soy milks? Yeah, those added calories and sugars aren’t doing much for you.
Store-Bought Orange Juice We know, that bright glass of orange juice every morning seems pretty harmless - until you start digging deeper. The history of orange juice is quite surprising: orange juice wasn’t a mainstay in the American diet until the 1950s. OJ from concentrate was first introduced to World War II soldiers, who needed extra vitamin C - and orange farmers needed to get a surplus of oranges off their hands, reports the Los Angeles Times. When orange juice became pasteurized (and easy to sell, like cartons of milk), it became a gold mine. However, commercially produced orange juice contains more than just nutrients. A book, Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, revealed that companies will often add in chemicals and flavors back into OJ during the pasteurization process, just to make it that much more appealing to the taste buds. While those are usually heavily guarded trade secrets, one popular flavoring agent added back in is ethyl butyrate, with the added scent of pineapple, to make it sweeter. Oh, that’s appealing. The Florida Department of Citrus fought back on some of those claims back in 2011 to the Huffington Post, saying that they simply take the “orange aroma, orange oil from the peel, and pulp” that’s separated from the juice and add it back in after pasteurization to enhance the flavor. And again, it all comes down to sugar: one study in 2008 found that drinking just one glass of orange juice per day increased a person’s risk for diabetes by 24 percent. It’s no secret that OJ and other juices can make blood sugar levels rise - it’s even recommended for diabetics crashing with low blood sugar levels as a way to get them back up. Coconut Water The world’s gone nuts for coconut water (including one Tom Haverford on Parks and Rec, who keeps a whole shelf stocked with it), but is it worth it? It probably shouldn’t be a shocker that packaged coconut water is loaded with more sugar than you need. Compared to natural coconut water (as in what you can’t find in a box), packaged coconut water can have up to twice the amount of sugar. Packaged coconut water can also be lacking in fiber, compared to natural coconut water. What makes coconut water so healthy is that it’s loaded with potassium, which is key for rehydration. As Mother Nature Network points out, potassium helps to balance the electrolytes in the body (it’s the same stuff you find in sports drinks). But a study from ConsumerLab.com found that two popular commercial coconut waters, O.N.E. Coconut Water and Vita Coco, didn’t deliver the amount of electrolytes promised on the label. Considering that’s coconut water’s gleaming health benefit, it’s slightly unnerving that you’re not getting what you think. Bottled Tea We know, after all the hype and excitement over the health benefits of tea,
you think you’re getting the same healthboosting kick from bottled tea. Don’t believe it - those Big Gulp-sized Arizona Teas aren’t doing any favors for your body. A presentation at the 2010 American Chemical Society meeting showed some scary facts: while bottled teas have fewer chemicals than home-brewed tea (thanks to mass production), they’re stripped of the natural goodness that makes them so healthy. That means they’re without the antioxidants and polyphenols that do the booty-kicking of cancer and other diseases. In the study presented, the researchers found that bottled teas contained as little as 3 milligrams, and as much as 81 milligrams, of polyphenols. If that sounds like a lot, consider this: home-brewed black or green tea will contain anywhere between 50 and 150 milligrams - not even close. That means you’d have to drink about 20 cups of bottled tea to get the amount of polyphenols you get from just one cup of homebrewed tea. The reason behind the missing polyphenols? Polyphenols in general are bitter-tasting, so manufacturers add tons of sugar to cover up the taste - and even decrease the amount of tea in the actual bottle. So, if you’re a fan of sugar water, keep going for those teas. If you really do want to keep drinking bottled tea, Men’s Health commissioned a bottled tea test to find which teas contained the most antioxidants and polyphenols (including ECGC, a known fighter against cancer) and came up with a helpful list. Coffee vs. Tea: What You Should Drink for the Most Health Benefits Fruit Juices Let’s think about the pros of fruit juices: Yes, they have vitamins you may not normally get elsewhere. Yes, they have antioxidants and polyphenols (i.e. grape juice). Yes, they have living enzymes (if they’re fresh-squeezed). But what do they also have? More fructose than you’ll ever need. In fact, studies in 2009 and 2010 declared that fruit juice was about as healthy as a can of Coke. Say what now? “It’s pretty much the same as sugar water,” said Dr. Charles Billington, an appetite researcher at the University of Minnesota to the Los Angeles Times in 2009. He went onto say that the modern diet shouldn’t include fruit juices - there’s no need. Although fruit juice contains naturally occurring fructose, it’s the added sucrose from juice concentrates that can pack on the sugar that’s so destructive. Take a glass of apple juice, says Natural News: a typical glass of commercial apple juice will have as much fructose as you would find in six apples - but lacks the necessary fiber and enzymes the liver needs to process all that fructose. Said one researcher to the LA Times, the body has time to process the fructose from a piece of fruit, but fruit in liquid form overwhelms the liver. The biggest health difference between fresh-squeezed and packaged, however, is in the processing. Fresh-squeezed juices still have some pulp that contains the most nutrients. However, from fruit to juice, the pasteurization process can kill the necessary nutrients you need from fruit. We say, if you want the vitamins and minerals, bite the fruit with your teeth - don’t sip it through a straw. Sports Drinks We’ve been over this before: when in doubt after your workout, reach for the H20. The truth is, while sports drinks are beneficial for reloading the body with electrolytes and potassium, most people don’t need them. The reason? Your workouts should be at least 60 minutes - and that’s going at high intensity - for the body to actually need to replenish all those lost electrolytes and potassium. If you’re not going hard at the marathon training,
chances are you’re just filling up on unnecessary sugars, carbs, and calories. And that’s not all that sports drinks are loaded with: The Daily Meal’s look into several popular brands of sports drinks found that some (like Propel Zero) are merely a laundry list of artificial ingredients, like added flavoring, sugars, and even caffeine. What’s even trickier is that the research behind sports drinks’ claims is somewhat convoluted - while many say that they do work to help the body recover after a workout, some say those studies are puffed up by the companies making the drinks. As the British Medical Journal found this past summer, some of those studies done by companies (take the Gatorade Science Institute) couldn’t even back up their claims with hard evidence. After all, if your body is truly thirsty, its thirst-regulating mechanisms will take over and let you know when you need water. Powdered Beverage Mixtures In English, that means your beloved Crystal Light. So what’s the verdict on powdered beverage mixtures? It depends. The biggest selling-point behind Crystal Light and other beverage additives is that they encourage hydration by making water taste like, well, not water. And if getting that eight glasses of water per day is a tough goal to meet, a Crystal Light packet may help. But the ingredients may make you take pause. Not only is it filled with artificial flavors and sweeteners, it’s also filled with many ingredients that make health experts cringe. Aspartame (side effects include headaches, anxiety, abdominal pain, nausea, heart palpitations, and irritable bowel syndrome among other pleasant things), acesulfame potassium (which contains a known carcinogen), phenylalanine (a protein that’s generally safe, but toxic in high doses and not recommended for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers) all make the cut. And yes, those scary colorings - like Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Blue 1, and Red 40 - that have been said to cause cancer and tumor growth and are on the no-no list of the interest group Center for Science in the Public Interest make an appearance as well. We say, just skip the flavor packets and add a lemon or cucumber slice to your H20. Diet Soda Let this serve as your PSA, you Diet Coke fiends: just stop it. This is not good for you. Let us count the ways. Besides the laundry list of artificial ingredients and sweeteners, there’s a whole slew of health conditions linked back to diet soda. The most recent (and disturbing) news? In a recent study that followed 2,500 New Yorkers for 10 years, those who drank diet soda every day were more likely to have a stroke, a heart attack, or even die from a cardiovascular disease. That’s serious stuff. And when those results were adjusted for smoking, weight, exercise, and other dietary factors, the stats were still the same - diet soda can wreak havoc on more than just your waistline. Another study published in Diabetes Care journal found that diet soda drinkers were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. But speaking of that waistline, the fake sugars in that Diet Coke really do a lot of damage to your weight - not quite the effect you’d hope from something labeled “diet.” The Atlantic illuminated how artificial sugars can really change your brain’s chemistry, namely, the reward center of the brain. After watching brain scans of 24 healthy, young adults given only saccharin and other sugar-free sweeteners, the researchers saw a decrease in activity in the brain’s reward center. It’s been shown that slower activity in the reward of the center fosters obesity, because once the brain is fooled with those tricky non-sucrose sweeteners, it’s harder to regulate food intake.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Living & Style
Endless search for bras that fit By Andrea Arterbery, Yahoo shine “The entire bra purchase process is flawed,” Dustin Cohn, Chief Marketing Officer for Jockey International tells Yahoo Shine. “Women are asked to measure their breasts with a tape measure. A woman’s breasts are three dimensional, so it doesn’t make sense to measure them with a two dimensional method. This changes the way bras support a bigger, bustier woman.” Jockey, the brand once known best for making men’s sporty underwear, is strategizing a new way to mass market bras with more customized fits. But first they need women to let go of everything they know about the bra alphabet (A,B,C and so on.) The company’s self-created
The Jockey Fit Kit is a two step process that can be done at home to help you find your best bra fit. The bra has been around for over a century and we still can’t find one that fits. It’s been estimated that as many as 85 percent of women in the U.S. wear the wrong size for their frame. If you’ve ever found your bra strap hanging down by your elbow, you’re familiar with this fact. It’s not only slightly embarrassing in a high-powered meeting, a poorly-fitted bra can cause sagging, neck and back pain. You’d think by now we’d have a better solution, aside from paying a custom fitter upwards of $400 to fix the problem. measurement system, called the Fit Kit ($20), involves 10 new and complicated numeric sizes (shaved down from 55),
which are based on measurements of the shape of women’s breasts (i.e. volume) rather than actual bust size.
How To Improve Your Attention Span By Alex Hutchinson, Runner’s World
he graph is simpler than it looks. The y axis shows the average time between heart beats, so lower values indicate higher heart rate. The study had two groups of volunteers: unfit college students (VO2max 36 ml/kg/min) and athletes (VO2max 69 ml/kg/min); the athletes are the lighter shaded bars, so it’s not surprising that they have higher values (equals lower pulse). The study itself involved a series of three 10-minute cognitive tasks; what the x axis shows is how heart rate changed as the tasks proceeded. “Block 1” is the heart rate during the first 3:20 of the 10-minute tasks (averaged over all three tasks); “Block 2” is the middle 3:20, and “Block 3” is the final 3:20. Making Running A Habit So what we see is a slight but non-significant decrease (i.e. increase in pulse) in the athletes as the cognitive tasks proceed, and a steady increase in pulse in the non-athletes. In other words, sitting in front a computer for 10 minutes pressing a button whenever a shape changes color makes your heart beat faster — especially if you’re not in shape. This isn’t because
Also on Yahoo: Saggy Breasts and Back Pain — Is Your Bra to Blame? It all sounds promising. “But is anyone ready for measurements like 1-30, 7-36 and 9-42?” asks the New York Times’ Stephanie Clifford. The volumetric sizes number 1 through 10 in cup size from small to large, and then combines with band size. So instead of being a 32-B, someone might find they’re a 2-32. The kits are a do-it-yourself compliment of customization. Each comes with color-coded measuring tape, cups, protective lingerie wash bag and video instructions for taking measurements. The bras, which start at $60 and come in five styles, are sold separately. “It’s the closest thing to a custom bra that you’ll find,” says Cohn. Still, it might take some adjusting. “I wish their sizing system was more translatable to the standard system,” writes blogger Charla Welch, of Bra Crusader, in her review of the kit. But Jockey isn’t the only game in town revamping the fitting process. True&Co, an online retailer, combines mathematical principles with a questionnaire to measure customers for size. “We have an algorithm that defines 2,000 body types,” True&Co’s Michelle Lam told the New York Times back in February. If you’re not ready to part with the traditional ABC’s of bras, consider a few tips from the pros for finding the right fit.
First take your measurements. There are plenty of simple step-by-step instructions online (like this one) that take the confusion out of the numbers game. Prepare to roadtest. Don’t rely on what the tag says because all bras fit differently. The bra should lie flat against your breastbone, the nipple should be at the center of each cup, the cups should not have wrinkles, and the back of the bra strap should rest in the middle of your back, not hike up. Straps should not be loose or you will not get the proper support. Avoid demi’s if you have full boobs and want good support.” It helps to think of your bra like a seesaw,” Susan Nethero of Intimacy Boutiques tells Redbook. ”If the band is too loose and rides up in the back, the girls will sag. If it is level all the way around or lower, they’ll be lifted.” Take care of your bras. Wash by hand or in cold water on the delicate cycle in a lingerie bag. And always air dry. Bras can last for two years if you take care of them well, according to Good Housekeeping. Still, don’t expect your bra to stay the same over time. Like anything else, they tend to stretch. Nethero suggests buying a bra that fits best on the last hook so you can use tighter hooks as it loosens. If all else fails, you can skip the whole thing. One recent study claims you’ll stay perkier without any long-term support at all. Given the complicated process of finding that support, it’s something to consider.
This is a graph, from a recent Spanish study in PLOS ONE that explores the links between cognitive performance, physical fitness, and autonomic nervous system function (press release here):
you’re exhausted from hitting the space bar. Instead, the researchers believe it has to do with the balance between two parts of your nervous system: the parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) part and the sympathetic (“fight or flight”). The athletes are able to stay in rest and digest mode for longer, which keeps their heart rate lower (and their heart-rate variability higher). In other words, as the press release puts it, they have a better attention span. 5 Keys to Running Healthy and Staying Injury-Free Is this a surprise? Not really — previous studies have shown that fit people do better
on cognitive tasks, and have better autonomic nervous system function. This study aims to link them together, suggesting that it’s the nervous system improvements that partly explain the improved cognitive performance. As always, the full interpretation of the study (which you can read for free online) is quite a bit more complicated — but it’s that graph that I find most interesting, seeing the stark difference in how the body (and brain!) respond to a simple task that only requires sitting still and paying attention for 10 minutes. That seems like a pretty useful ability to have.
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reporters dispatch, June 4 â€” 11, 2013
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Around the World 'I'm no dictator': Turkey's Erdogan defies protests
urkey’s powerful populist leader Recep Tayip Erdogan shows no signs of flinching against masses of angry protestors who brand him a dictator, dismissing them as “a handful of vandals”. Thousands have rallied, complaining that he is pushing conservative, Islamistflavoured policies in Turkey — a country with a predominantly Muslim population but a staunchly secular state. “I’m not a dictator. It’s not even in my blood,” he responded on Sunday. Analysts say it is too early to claim the demonstrations would weaken his reputation as the most influential leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk — the father of modern Turkey. Erdogan is expected to run for president in elections next year. “He is a prime minister elected by 50 percent of the population only two years ago. He’s pretty confident,” Hugh Pope of the International Crisis Group told
after years of rocky coalition governments, building the country into a regional political and economic power. But his authoritarian style and zerotolerance of criticism has proved a major test for democracy in the nation at the crossroads of east and west. Erdogan’s regular attacks on the media and a tendency to use the courts to silence his enemies — including a campaign taking on the powerful military establishment — have added to fears about rights in a country which has long sought to join the European Union. Under Erdogan’s rule, Turkey has been blacklisted as the leading jailer of journalists worldwide by rights groups. Hundreds of military officers, academics and lawyers are also in detention — most of them accused of plotting against the government, in what critics say is a policy to stifle dissent. A riot police officer fires tear gas against protesters during a demonstration in Ankara on June 3, 2013.
Riot police clear burning debris on the main city square, Kizilay, in the Turkish capital Ankara on June 3, 2013. AFP. But he added: “It would be really good if he were engaged with the mainstream involved in the protests.” Demonstrators of diverse backgrounds have flooded squares in major cities across the country over the past four days, yelling: “Dictator, resign!” The outburst has thrown up one of the toughest challenges to Erdogan’s government since it came to power in 2002. His response has not soothed the crowds enraged by what they see as curbs to their freedom by his Justice and Development Party (AKP). A local environment campaign to save a park at Istanbul’s main Taksim square, the symbolic heart of demonstrations, swelled from Friday into a general protest against Erdogan’s government. But it was not the first challenge the Turkish leader has faced. In 2007, hundreds of thousands poured into the streets in big cities and rallied in protest against his pick for president — Abdullah Gul, whose wife wears an Islamic headscarf. The prime minister weathered that outcry. In power since 2002, Erdogan has brought relative stability to Turkey
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan steps out from his airplane as he arrives at Rabat airport on June 3, 2013 at the start of a tour of the Maghreb region as unprecedented anti-government protests swept Turkey.
A practising Muslim, Erdogan has pioneered contentious legislation that will curb the sale and advertising of alcohol if his ally Gul signs it into law. That has outraged his secular opponents who charge that he wants to Islamise the officially secular country. The 59-year-old politician — who once sold lemons on the streets of Istanbul to fund his schooling — has enjoyed overwhelming electoral support, casting himself his image as a man of the people with his tough-talking style and swagger. Observers say he is now setting his sights on the presidency, hoping to change the constitution to give the president US-style executive powers before running for the post himself next year. “We’re talking about a government which has been in power since 2002 and which has continuously increased its votes. This is naturally leading to a burnout, as well as excessive selfconfidence,” said Kamer Kasim of the Ankara-based think tank USAK. He said that Erdogan’s tough-talking style was not unique to majority leaders but shared by opposition party politicians in Turkey. “Politics is tough in Turkey and politicians believe speaking tough turns into more votes.” Despite his humble origins, Erdogan climbed the political ladder, bouncing back from a stint in jail in 1999 — accompanied by a ban from holding office — for reciting an Islamic-motivated poem during a public speech while he was mayor of Istanbul. He won local elections in 1994 to become mayor of Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, holding the post until 1998. After his release from jail, he formed the AKP in 2001. As prime minister, Erdogan returns often to his humble roots — he chats with taxi drivers, pays visits to poor families and stops his convoy in the mornings to buy bread from local vendors. Analysts warned that he could not remain indifferent to public pressure. “He is quite pragmatic,” Pope said, and knows that any weakening of his position would threaten his efforts to
settle a three-decade-old Kurdish insurgency in the southeast. Erdogan may earn himself a lasting legacy if he succeeds in forging an elusive peace with the Kurdish rebels, Pope said — a move the prime minister launched despite considerable political risks.
Malaysia opposition will work with govt: Anwar
nwar Ibrahim acknowledged Monday that his Malaysian opposition would have to bite the bullet and work with a ruling coalition he calls illegitimate, while pledging a sustained fight for electoral reform. Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition won May 5 elections but the opposition, which gained more than half the popular vote, has said ruling-coalition fraud cost them victory. Anwar has rejected the outcome and led a series of rallies denouncing it as fraudulent, raising the spectre of prolonged instability over the bitter elections, the closest the 56-year-old ruling coalition ever came to losing. But he said his three-party opposition would participate in parliament “as a reality for now” while continuing to question the government’s legitimacy. “Of course we have to move on, but that does not mean we should accept the fraud,” he told AFP in an interview. “They stole the election from us,” he said. The opposition says voter rolls were full of irregularities, enabling the ruling coalition to sway results in closely fought seats. Supposedly indelible ink introduced to prevent multiple voting easily washed off. The government has admitted “problems” with the ink — which it had touted as proof of its commitment to fair polls — but has rejected charges of cheating. The election was seen as the first in which Barisan Nasional, which has governed tightly since independence in 1957, faced possible defeat.
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Gists, Events, Parties, Entertainment, Tourism and Relationship
Beauty queen loses crown in 24 hours
t was quite a surprise,” Santos told Yahoo! Shine of her delayed victory in a phone interview. “It’s only starting to sink in now.” Santos says that she and Garrido haven’t communicated yet, but that the two have know each other since 2008 and Garrido crowned her Miss Canada World in 2011. “I think it’s unfortunate and hard to handle but she’s been very gracious and handling it very well.” Speaking with Breakfast Television on Tuesday, queen-fora-day Garrido said she suspected something was amiss when she was called into an unscheduled meeting Sunday. “My heart was starting to sink and when the error was announced, I was in a daze.” She added, her voice shaking, “It was absolutely surreal. This fairytale-slash-nightmare happened within 24 hours.” Also on Shine: Transgendered Miss Universe Canada Contestant Takes the Stage As of Tuesday, the contest’s website, Beauties of Canada, still referenced Garrido as the winner of the pageant in a blog post. A follow-up post corrected the mistake, listing the “final results” with Santos as the queen. A statement on the site explains how the error occurred: “During the validation of the computerized scoring results (which occurs the following day), a typo was discovered in the top 5 entries, which significantly impacted the final results of the competition. This is the first instance of this type of error in the 11 years that Beauties of Canada (BOC) has produced the Miss Universe Canada pageant.” Beauties of Canada also issued an apology to Garrido: “We would like to offer our sincere apology to Denise Garrido for this human error discovered while validating the results. Miss Garrido’s example and grace represents all we look for at Miss Universe Canada. We have no doubt she will continue to succeed in her endeavors and we wish her well.” Garrido, who said it has been her dream to win Miss Universe since she was a little girl, has been managing her disappointment with poise, and even praised pageant director Denis Devila. “From the director’s perspective, I felt that he was crushed, too, and he was really upset by the situation. He handled it really well.” Last year’s Miss Universe Canada pageant was also the
How Facebook Fans Ridiculed Dino Melaye On Democracy Day
Judges crowned Ontario’s Denise Garrido, 26, the new Miss Universe Canada out of 57 contestants. The next morning, they admitted that they had made a mistake in tabulating the scores and stripped her of her crown. The real winner was Riza Santos, 26, of Calgary.
Denise Garrido (courtesy Twitter) Garrido says she’s trying to see the positive in a difficult situation. “I’ve grown a lot from this experience,” she told Yahoo! Shine in a phone interview. “It was a challenge at the time and was shocking to me...but it could be a great story for women everywhere. I had that moment of being Miss Universe, but not for a whole year. It’s not going to change by me feeling like a victim.” center of controversy when transgendered contestant Jenna Talackova was barred from entering the final event because she wasn’t “born a woman.” The decision was reversed a few days later after public outcry. Although her final title for the
Czech ‘supermum’ gives birth to quintuplets
23-year old Czech woman has given birth to four boys and a girl in what hospital officials said was the country’s first recorded case of quintuplets.
Dubbed “supermum” by local media, Alexandra Kinova was assisted by a team of around 40 specialists at the Prague-Podoli maternity hospital when she delivered the babies by cesarian
2013 pageant was third runnerup (fourth place), Garrido said, “Technically, I won Miss Universe Canada and finished the journey on a high.” Garrido says her immediate plan is to “make the best out of the situation.
HON. DINO MELAYE’S POST We have nothing to celebrate today being democracy day, Nigeria is sick, the midterm performance of Mr president is a beautiful nonsense. We must wake up and ask questions on why we are where we are. Power is still less than 4000 MW, even when over $16 billion have not translated into 20MW of electricity. Our roads are dead traps, our hospitals are mere consulting clinics, corruption is now with impunity. Insecurity is on an historic height in our dear nation. Come out of your cocoon Nigeria and lets rescue our dear country from political demons and financial scavengers. We are not subsidizing fuel but the international jet setting lifestyle of the elite. Lets all do something before something do us. We shall overcome above all. Lets keep speaking till we crack down the walls of corruption in Nigeria. God bless Nigeria. RESPONSES FROM FANS OF DINO Kamar Abubakar Nobody is a sent, even if Dino is given the chance to rule Nigeria same thing ll come up if not worse than GEJ. Fatomiluyi Abiodun Emmanuel Dino, you can’t fool Nigerians but you can only fool yourself. You are part of them, politicians are the same Now that things have fallen apart between you, don’t fool us. Jeff Ikhinmwin How many of these questions motions did u raise while at national assembly? Now u have been schemed out, u suddenly remember Marxism! Jeff Ikhinmwin Quietly remove d “hon” from ur name if u want us to take u serious. U can’t be answering d appellation of those who crippled this
country, and we want us take u serious. It only shows u are one of them. Afam Chukwunwike Bullet proof cars,mansions in Abuja and Kogi state,do you have all these things before the advent of democracy Mr Dino Melaye? Dino,you are a rogue. We understand your frustrations having been pushed out of the PDP. Osita Egeruo Ndidi Opurum Dino has now become a social crusader bcs he has lost his job in d house, if u are serious, then sell all d properties u got from democracy dividend and give it to charity, both you, elrufai, fani kayode, then i will take all of u serious. Gej all d way. HON DINO REPLIED:
section 31 weeks into her pregnancy. “The girl is named Tereza, the identical twins Michael and Deniel and we also have Alex and Martin,” 26-year-old father
Antonin Kroscen told reporters. “I’m very happy,” he added. The couple already has a young son. The babies, who were conceived naturally, have been placed in intensive care but are said to be in stable condition. Their weight ranged from 1.05 to 1.34 kilogrammes (2.5 to 2.15 pounds).
Twenty three-year-old mum Alexandra Kinova has given birth to four girls and one boy in the Czech Republic’s first documented case of quintubplets. Picture: AP Source: AP
It is unfortunate that rather than be objective and talk issues all the villa agents are attacking my person, I challenge any of you to carry out simple research on my activities in the National Assembly. Am grown beyond myopic and porous comments. The fight to salvage our dear country from these gerontocratic leaders is a battle of no retreat no surrender. All you hired guns,you and indeed pdp is yet to dig out just one corruption or indictment against me. Those hating on my cars you ain’t see nothing yet. A poor man can not deliver a poor man. We shall not stop hitting on the walls of corruption. We shall overcome....and the altercation between Dino and his facebook fans went on and on....
reporters dispatch, June 4 — 11, 2013
Sports Kenya: We are ready for Super Eagles
frican Champions Nigeria have kept hosts Kenya guessing about their arrival date ahead of a
Mourinho returns as Chelsea coach on four-year contract
ose Mourinho returned to Chelsea as manager on Monday when he signed a four-year contract at the Premier League club, six years after leaving, following a fall-out with owner Roman Abramovic. Mourinho, 50, won two English leagues and one FA Cup during his first term at the London club 2004-2007. He then spent three years each at Inter Milan and Real Madrid winning a Champions League, Serie A and the Italian cup treble with Inter in 2010, and with Real, one Spanish league and one Spanish cup. “I am delighted to welcome Jose back to Chelsea. His continued success, drive and ambition made him the outstanding candidate,’’ Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said in a club statement. “It is our aim to keep the club moving forward to achieve greater success in the future and Jose is our number one choice as we believe he is the right manager to do just that.’’ “He was and remains a hugely popular figure at the club and everyone here looks forward to working with him again.’’ Mourinho will be formally presented as manager on June 10. His return was all but assured when “The Special One’’ was released out of his contract in Madrid two weeks ago. Chelsea went through seven managers since his departure six years ago. Mourinho won Chelsea’s first Premier League title in 50 years in 2005, topped the league the following season again and won the FA Cup in 2007 before he had to go in September of that year. Chelsea’s record goalscorer, Frank Lampard, said recently that Mourinho was the best coach he has ever worked under. “He made me believe I was better than I was at the time,’’ the midfielder said. “I thought I was a decent player, but he said to me ‘listen, you can really get to the top’ and he made me believe it. I tried to take it on and do it. “Mourinho was the best. For me he was. He brought my confidence to a level it had never been. He galvanises people. His own self-confidence reflects back on his teams. He did that to me personally. “Tactically he’s fantastic. He’s very astute. As a team he sets you up brilliantly. “But what he does is he gets the best out of players and gets this togetherness that I’d never known until he came to the club and I haven’t seen it again since then.
2014 World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. But Kenya say they are ready for the Super Eagles. John Kairuki, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) media Officer told MTNFootball.com that they have not been informed by the Nigerian FA when their national team will be arriving in Kenya. “We have tried to ask them about their travel plans, but they are not communicating,” said Kairuki.
Kairuki said although the Nigerians are playing mind games and violating FIFA rules by not communicating, they will host them whenever they arrive. “We are prepared for them,” vowed the Media Officer. Nigeria top Group F of the qualification campaign with five points while Kenya is bottom with two points midway through the qualification rounds.
The two teams settled to a 11 draw in the first leg tie in Calabar and Kenya badly need a win to revive their hopes. In camp are foreign-based players Victor Wanyama, Brian Mandela, David Gateri, Patrick Osiako, Kepha Aswani, Jamal Mohammed and Arnold Origi. They were part of the team that trained in Naivasha on Sunday morning but were expected back in Nairobi.
Jay-Jay Okocha with a ball at 3
Photo: Jay Jay Okocha At Age 3 with a football and he dedicates this to the kids on children’s day. He Wrote on his twitter account; This one’s dedicated 2 my kids & yours on this special day. Find d courage 2 pursue ur dreams. Happy Children’s day.
Emordi proud of ‘Trojan'’ Rangers
oach Okey Emordi has hailed Rangers as “Trojans” after they advanced to the group stage of the Confederation Cup ahead of CS Sfaxien. Rangers held Tunisia’s Sfaxien to a goalless draw in Sfax on Sunday to reach the mini-league rounds of the CAF competition after they won the first leg 1-0 at home. Emordi, who led Enyimba to win the 2004 CAF Champions League, was full of praise for his team on Sunday. “To God be the glory. I am proud of my boys. They did me proud today and fought like Trojans that we are known for,” Emordi told MTNFootball.com “From here there is no stopping us and the trophy remains our target. “The Tunisians really gave us a good fight today but my players were up to the task. I am really happy.” Leader of delegation, Victor Atuonwu, who was visibly over-joyed with the outcome of the match, said, “This is the work of God. We give Him the glory. “Our players also showed their never say die spirit which earned us this result. “It is for the entire Nigerians and especially for the good people of Enugu state who has always been there for us.” Rangers braved all odds to hold the Tunisian side to a goalless second leg, third round match inside a packed Stade Taïeb Mhiri. Goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel was the hero of the day as he parried, punched and curdled all shots aimed at his post by the more business-like Tunisian league champions. What would have been the opening goal of the match was wasted by Fakhereedine Ben Youssef on 37 minutes as he blasted wide from the penalty spot after the referee adjudged Nnamdi Anyasodo to have fouled goal-bound Maman Youssoufou. After this incident, the visitors upped their game and could have been rewarded with a goal when Sunday Chinedu’s curling shot missed target narrowly after sloppy defending by the hosts. Lone ranger upfront, Razaq Adegbite, was all over the pitch working his socks off running the backline of the hosts ragged, but his efforts could not yield any goal.
June 4 — June 11 , 2013
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Boko Haram activities un-Islamic, Jos killings politically motiviated - Col. Bawa (rtd) Col. Mohammed Inuwa Bawa (rtd) is a former military Administrator of Ekiti and Gombe states. He contested the Kebbi gubernatorial seat in 2007 on the platform of the Action Congress (AC). In this exclusive interview with UDE EJIKEME in Abuja, Bawa blamed politically – motivated indigenship as being responsible for Jos killings. He also said internal security maintenance is not for the military.
ou have been in politics for some time now after leaving the army, what has been the experience? I resisted going into politics initially, but having been in government in two states, one has the consciousness of possessing something to contribute in one’s home state – Kebbi. In 2003, I was crafted into politics. Later on, I was approached and I joined Action Congress (AC), as ACN was known then. And I contested as AC gubernatorial candidate in kebbi state in the 2007 governorship election, which to me was inconclusive because it was marked by a lot of rigging and so on, but that is history now. I have since became a member of the Congress for Progressive change (CPC). Now, I am an elder of the CPC in Kebbi, and we are trying to rebuild the party. How do you view the appointment of Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd) as National Security Adviser ((NSA)? President Goodluck Jonathan must have been told to reorganize the security system, because it was obvious he was not getting it right with security in the country. He thought it was wise to remove the old NSA and bring the new man. Unfortunately, people were saying he removed his fellow Ijaw man and brought a Muslim Fulani to please the north. They said it was a northern agenda. If Jonathan was dancing to a northern tune by sacking late Owoye Azazi, what tune was he dancing to? How would you react on the state of Emergency Slammed on Borno, Yola, and Adamawa states by the Federal Government? We should stop this divisive
Col. Mohammed Inuwa Bawa (rtd) attitude because it is not helping our nationhood. We see this Boko Haram thing happening. These are misguided elements. They have been targeting Churches with the mindset of getting this country into a serious religious conflict. And we have ignoramus in individuals who will now go to public high ways and start killing innocent Nigerians because those misguided people attacked churches. Reprisals are equally abominable. The Boko Haram People don’t consult any Muslim to say “today”, we are going to bomb any church to get a goahead. What they are doing is unIslamic and punishment for their crime should not be visited on innocent Muslims. So, we have problems, really, as they need delicate handling. This is why I don’t believe that whenever there is a crisis, you throw the solders in, as if they have the solutions. In many cases you even compound the situation, because the civilians you are asking them to protect are complaining of harassment and in
some cases even of extra – judicial killings. And after you have tried it and it doesn’t work, sit down and re-think. Internal security maintenance is not for the military. I was involved in it while in the military intelligence, so I know it. Normally, solders don’t partake in internal security for a long time. Theirs is to come in for a short time, remedy that situation, and leave it to the civil authorities. A cardinal principle of internal security is winning the heart and mind of the populace. If you are harassing the people and they are afraid of you, there will be problems. You won’t get intelligence on the insurgents you are supposed to tackle because the people don’t want any contact with you. Now, I think whoever these Boko Haram are, explore dialogue with them. What about the argument that you cannot talk with people (ghosts) you don’t know? That is where intelligence comes in. You have the military
intelligence. The police have their own intelligence unit. You have the state security service (SSS). There is the National intelligence Agency (NIA). All these are supposed to be gathering intelligence and penetrating the insurgents. If they are not doing that, then I am sorry, because it is the only way. You have to discover who really are behind these people called Boko Haram and probably just making them go on suicide mission killing innocent Nigerians. As one who has lived in Jos for so long and made it home – away – from home, when and how would you say that Jos unrest began? It started from somewhere along the route of the coming of democracy. With the coming of partisan politics and politicians striving to gain elected offices, politics of representation and so on, citizenship became a lunge issue, something nobody cared about previously. Tempers began to flare when people who feel they own Jos came face to face with people who feel that they have lived all their life in Jos and have equal state in it. Someone whose great grandfather was born in Jos wants to contest a local government seat and someone else will come out and say no, you are not an indigene of this place. The argument and conflicts degenerated along the ways, took on ethnic and religious colorations, and brought us to where we are. Sir, You were military Administrator in two different states. If you are the governor of plateau states now and you face this particular issue, how would you handle it? You tackle problems when they
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have not become complicated. Initially, it was about indigene, but it was allowed to degenerate into religious and ethnicity. The emphasis on who is an indigene and who is not is really an unfortunate politically – motivated development because when Jos was being established, people from all parts of the country contributed. In Jos that time, it didn’t matter where you come from. But suddenly, things changed for bad. If I were the governor I will appreciate first of all that the development of plateau state, the development of Jos, in particular, did not rest with one particular tribe or two, Jos is a mini – Nigeria. Everyone is here. The leadership needs to divorce itself from ethnic considerations. Then, the governor and officials of his government should go to the people in their localities to preach messages of integration and peaceful coexistence. The governor shouldn’t sit in his office and call group leaders for peace meetings. How is your own political career shaping out? With the experience of the CPC in Kebbi state in 2011, we are now trying to rebuild the party. The grassroots support has never dwindled. All we need is to bring up a credible leadership. We are going to be careful now about who comes in and who becomes what. Are you going to aspire to be Kebbi State governor again? If the time comes and the people want me, fine. In any case, in Kebbi, it is time for power shift. Particular senatorial distinct has been producing the governor. It has always been the Kebbi central. It is time for power shift. There are considerations other than senatorial districts, we have four emirates. Gwandu Emirate in Kebbi central, Argungu Emirate, the Yauri Emirate where I come from, and then the Zuru Emirate. Political calculations have take cognizance of the four emirates and the three senatorial districts. We in kebbi South, that is Yauri Emirate and Zuru Emirate should have the governor for a change and we should more towards 2015 with this in mind.
reporters dispatch and reporters 365 (www.reporters365.com) are projects of Initiative For Empowerment And Development. Head Office: No. 3, Cotonou Crescent, Wuse Zone 6, Abuja. Editor-in-Chief: Linda Somiari Stewart Chairman of Board: Sina Sabur Aroyeun Hotlines: 08068573814, 08076007253 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org