APGA: Karma Has Finally Caught-up With Victor Umeh?
Major Hamza Al-Mustapha is the only person that can cage Boko Haram – Barr. Amobi Nzelu
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Vol. 1. No. 13.
February 19 — 26, 2013
Nigeria’s first free newspaper
Jonathan's one term presidency: Kanti Bello, Folarin, fault Babangida Aliyu
he disclosure by Niger State governor Babangida Aliyu that President Jonathan signed an undertaking to run a single term presidency has come under knocks by people who say they were part of the meetings which led to the Jonathan presidency. Former Senate Whip, Senator Kanti Bello, has accused the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu of being economical with the truth over his claim that President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to a single term in 2011. Bello, former member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, in an interview said as a principal officer of the Senate in 2011, he attended a meeting of governors and lawmakers where the issue of Jonathan’s
single term was discussed. He recalled that he raised the matter during the meeting and that Jonathan did not make such a promise. Aliyu had claimed in an interview aired on Liberty Radio, Kaduna, that President Jonathan agreed to serve for only one term of four years beginning from 2011. According to Aliyu: “I recall that at the time he was going to declare for the 2011 election, all PDP governors were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind. “And I recall that some of us said that, given the circumstances of the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua and given the PDP zoning arrangement, it was expected that the North was to produce the president for a given
President Goodluck Jonathan
New Health Bill Will Kill 10 Million Nigerian Women Via trade in human Eggs
he Chairman; Institute of Advanced Research and Training, Dr Phillip Njemanze has revealed that the
on-going debate on the National Health Bill will encourage the killing of about 10 million poor Nigerian women who will be
willing donate their ovaries for a stipend as encouraged by the
number of years. “I recall that at that discussion, it was agreed that Jonathan would serve only one term of four years and we all signed the agreement. Even when Jonathan went to Kampala, in Uganda, he also said he was going to serve a single term.”
CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
Only At the Wine Shop SEKMART SUPER STORES Games Village Karu District, Abuja
But Bello, who later defected to the Congress for Progressive Change, dismissed Aliyu’s claims. “When we were having a meeting, then I was in PDP, we were there at the National Headquarters of the Party, we the principal officers of the Senate, governors and some members of the National Working Committee of the Party. “A discussion arose and President Jonathan complained about the sequence of elections and lack of support as an executive President and member of our party. “Then, finally I raised the issue that it is not a question of election: You want to run but since you want to run, some of us feel what you want to do is unconstitutional but since a decision has been taken and a primary has taken place, the majority of the people say run so democratically, there is nothing anybody can do since there has been a convention and nobody objected at the convention about your running. CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Addressing migration issues in Nigeria By Kayode Olaitan
y most accounts, migration issues have become an essential feature of the world’s political and socio-economic activities in recent times. This, according to observers, is because integrated markets, emergence of transnational networks and rapid growth of communication technologies have contributed to the increasing movement of high and low-skilled personnel, families, tourists, students, among others. Since migration is viewed as the right to leave one’s place of birth or abode in search of new opportunities and better life, appropriate authorities have given migrants a priority attention in the scheme of things. At a higher level, the Meeting of Experts on the Definition of the African Diaspora held in 2005 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union (AU) clearly defined the African Diaspora. According to it, the African Diaspora consists of peoples of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality, and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the AU. The AU pledged that it would invite and encourage the full participation of the African Diaspora in efforts to develop the continent and strengthen the AU. On the national level, there is a growing recognition of the need to involve Nigerians living abroad in national development efforts. For instance, there is a standing committee in the House of Representatives that is overseeing issues relating to Nigerians resident in overseas countries. The committee known as the House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora is chaired by Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa and it has been soliciting the establishment of a commission to look after the interests of Nigerians in the Diaspora. At the Nigerians in the Diaspora (Europe) Investment Summit held in Osogbo last year, Dabiri-Erewa underscored the need to create the commission that would address all issues relating to Nigerians living abroad. The lawmaker stressed that many Nigerian experts in various fields of human endeavour were resident in countries across the world, developing the countries’ economies and promoting the wellbeing of their citizensy. She noted that it was paradoxical to note that Nigeria was still deficient in expertise in various sectors, while its citizens were busy developing the economies of other countries. “This is why it is time for us as country to consider this commission which will look at the issue of Nigerians in the Diaspora and how their contributions can be harnessed to save the country from its present predicament. “Many of our people are doing very well; they are respected in their chosen fields such as medicine and engineering, among others; the academia is not left out, Nigerians stand out wherever they are,’’ she said. In the light of this, the Nigerian National Volunteer Service (NNVS), a department in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the
Minister of Interior Comrade Abba Moro
Federation, is specifically mandated to mobilise Nigerians in the Diaspora to make contributions to the country’s development. Established in 2002, the department is empowered to implement the government policy on the engagement of Nigerians abroad, while specifying the framework for their effective mobilisation and engagement for national development. To boost the government’s initiative, the European Union (EU) is funding “Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria’’ project with about 11 million Euros (about N2.3 billion). A workshop on the project was recently organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Abuja and its participants commended ongoing activities and support for efforts to engage Nigerians living overseas in national development strategies and efforts. Mr Charles Kwenin, the IOM Senior Regional Advisor of Sub-Saharan Africa, said that the workshop discussed how to develop a roadmap for effective and sustainable engagement of Nigerians in the Diaspora in national development activities. He, however, noted that globally, millions of people were constantly on the move, adding that half of the migrants were women, while a number of them were with children.
he 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
“This mass movement is what the IOM DirectorGeneral, Amb. William Lacey Swing, refers to as a mega-trend of the 21st Century. “It is driven, in the first instance, by the information and communication revolutions. In 2000, no fewer than 300 million people were connected to the Internet, today; the number has risen to about two billion. “So, you have one out of every seven persons on our globe in a migratory status and one out of every three people connected to the Internet. “The two are linked in the sense that anyone who has Internet access can know at anytime, from anywhere in the world, what is going on anywhere else in the world. “If it is these revolutions that fuel this particular movement, then, other trends will make sure that it lasts well into our century. “Migration is humanity’s oldest action against poverty – the powerful manifestation of an individual’s desire for development, dignity and a decent life – even if it means doing the dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs; jobs that the domestic workforce often shun “One of the main challenges before us now is how to formulate and implement humane and equitable policies that will deploy the development potential of the people in the Diaspora for the benefit of their countries of origin and countries of destination,’’ he said. To make things easier for Nigerians living abroad, Mrs Omolara Duke, the Assistant Director (Department of Research), Central Bank of Nigeria, said that Nigerians living overseas could now open Nigerian bank accounts anywhere they were. She said the “Nigeria Diaspora Account’’ would alleviate the burden of Nigerians living in repatriating money home for national development. All the same, participants at the workshop resolved that the NNVS, in collaboration with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), should develop a pragmatic roadmap for the engagement of Nigerians living abroad for specific national development plans. They noted that the collaboration should foster the evolution of trust between Nigerians abroad and the Federal Government. They also called for increased advocacy for the formal adoption of the Draft National Migration Policy. The participants asserted that the creation of investment products such as “Diaspora Bonds’’, among other incentives, would stimulate Nigerians living in overseas countries to partake in national development projects. effort to increase the declining reading culture in Nigeria. To empower Nigerians through the provision of facts in an informative and entertaining manner with a view to enabling the populace take decisions and make choices based on facts rather than rumors and propaganda from spin doctors. To contribute our quota towards the making of a 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, February 19 — 26, 2013
New Health Bill Will Kill 10 Million Nigeria Women Via trade in human Eggs Contd. from Front Page bill. According to Dr Njemanze, Nigeria will be the only country in the world to legalise such an anomaly as every developed country and even developing countries in Asia have criminalised the trade in eggs. He explained that laws in the debated National Health Bill will enhance the donation of eggs and tissues, considering
Ansaru: New threat in restive northern Nigeria Contd. from Back Page “global terrorist” by the United States last year. AIMS: When claiming attacks and kidnappings, it has mentioned France’s intervention in Mali and European nations’ “atrocities done to the religion of Allah.” However, experts do not take such claims at face value. FOREIGN LINKS: The group is believed to have links of some kind with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, AlQaeda’s north African wing. The US State Department described Barnawi as tied to Boko Haram and with “close links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.” Its kidnappings would seem to mimic those claimed by AQIM in other countries. ABDUCTIONS:Ansaru has been mentioned in connection with at least three instances: - The May 12, 2011 abductions of a Briton and an Italian working for a construction firm in Kebbi state, near the border with Niger. The victims were killed on March 8, 2012 in neighbouring Sokoto state during a botched rescue operation. - The December 19, 2012 kidnapping of a French engineer in Katsina state, bordering Niger. Ansaru claimed the kidnapping, and the victim’s whereabouts remain unknown. - The February 16, 2013 kidnapping of seven foreigners from a construction site in Bauchi state. Nigerian police said four Lebanese, one Briton, a Greek citizen and an Italian were among those taken. Their whereabouts remain unknown. OTHER ATTACKS: It claimed responsibility for a January 19 attack in central Nigeria that killed two soldiers due to be deployed to Mali.
the high level of poverty, the medical doctor claims that women will be willing to donate their eggs for survival at a token fee. Such donation which will be unlimited further exposes the women to more complicated medical condition such as cancer due to the explosion they will be exposed to while conducting the egg donation procedures. This will eventually claim their lives. The doctor who was on Channels Television breakfast programme; Sunrise, described this development as a “biological warfare” which Nigerian lawmakers are encouraging. Dr Njemanze also explained that Section 51 of the bill dictates
that with the consent of the Minister, it will be legal to kill an embryo and there is no nation in the world that has passed such a law. According to him, the bill is enmeshed with euphemisms that do not clearly state its intent. He cited an example as ‘splitting the embryo’ as contained in Section 51 of the bill. This he argues is as good as killing the embryo. “Once you split an embryo, it is dead so you can use the cells for research”, these he described as biological slave trade because this is invariably the killing of one human being for the development of another. “This means it will be legal for the first time in human history to
kill a full citizen of a country.” Dr Njemanze claims that the scheme is being sponsored by the West and donor agencies due to new laws in India which forbids the trade in organs and its donation. He claims India use to be organ market capital of the world and the west are now focusing on Africa and thereby financing the enactment of laws to institutionalise the trade. The bill which is currently before the national assembly has drawn the ire of stakeholders in the health sector but has largely remained unknown by the general populace who will bear the consequences of the bill if passed into law.
Catholic priest at war with Commissioner of Police over kidnap story By Ude Ejikeme
he Niger state commissioner of police, Mrs. Desire Nsirim, has described as “false” the claims by the Parish priest of St. Theresa’s Catholic church, Madalla, Rev. Fr. Isaac Achi, that he was kidnapped by unknown gun men from the church premises. Achi had said he was kidnapped by gun men who were asking for the purported money apparently referring to the N25 million donated to victims of the Christmas Day blast that rocked the church in 2011. However, Nsirim said in Minna, the Niger state capital, that Achi’s claim was spurious and aimed at covering up what the police detectives were investigating. She said: “Nobody was
kidnapped. We are aware that some people have problem with the priest over money donated by Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. It was an internal problem and a protracted matter”. Rev. Fr. Achi had told reporters dispatch in an exclusive interview that he was kidnapped and described the saga as the “cross” he has to carry for the church. “I was kidnapped and I did not know where they took me. They dropped me at night by the road inside the rain. The kidnappers said they would have mercy on me by giving me transport money after they made away with the money in my pocket”, he said. He attributed his escape to the prayers by both Christian and Muslim faithfuls from the Madalla community, adding that they asked me for the
money (N25 million) and I told them the money was not with me”. It will be recalled that the Divisional Police Officer of “A” Division, Suleja, CSP Desmond Okejim, had told newsmen on Thursday, January 24, 2013 that Rev. Fr. Isaac Achi was rescued after the police tracked the kidnappers to Abuja. He said: “We took notice of the registration number of the vehicle, and the Area Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Lawan Tanko Jimeta, led the team to Abuja where they successfully rescued the clergyman”. Now, the question is who is telling lies between Rev. Fr. Achi and Mrs. Nsirim, the Niger state commissioner of Police over the kidnapping saga? The general public is anxious to know who is telling the truth.
Explosion leaves one dead in Lagos
...it is not Boko Haram — Police
n explosion in Lagos on Monday left an elderly man dead. The victim was the leader of Sand Diggers Association, Amuwo-Odofin, who was killed by the explosion under the bridge linking Festac Town and Festac Extension. “The victim was the Chairman of the sand diggers association; members of the association sell sand under the link bridge. “An explosive was planted close to where he usually seats; the explosion occurred
at about noon, killing the man on the spot and injuring one other. “Some arrests have been made and the area is now calm while the police from the AntiBomb squad are investigating the materials found at the scene,’’ a source told us. The Commissioner of police in Lagos, Mr Umar Manko, who confirmed the explosion, however, told journalists that it was caused by an electrical fault that occurred under the bridge. “The explosion was not a
bomb as people claimed; it was not an explosive devise targeted by Boko Haram or any terror group at people in Lagos. “It was caused by an electrical fault and one person died in the explosion,’’ Manko said. He urged people in Lagos to go about their normal businesses, assuring them of their safety. The Commissioner said that the command was investigating the incident.
AEPB to provide public toilets to check open defecation in Abuja
he Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) says plans are under way to provide public toilets, to curb the menace of indiscriminate open defecation in the city. Mr Uche Agbanusi, the Deputy Director, Environmental Health and Safety of the agency, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview on Monday in Abuja that the proposal for the toilet project had been completed. He said that the project would be executed by the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. “We don’t want a situation where it will be only the government that will be providing all the facilities for the city; it will be on PPP scheme; we want organisations to be involved,” he said. NAN recalls that the board had initially proposed the provision of 100 toilets in the city. “We need more than 100 toilets because 100 will not be enough for a city of this nature that is growing daily,” Agbanusi said. He said that the number of toilets to be provided would be based on the need for them, adding that the board had carried out a survey in the city, to ascertain the number of toilets needed. Agbanusi said that the board had marked strategic places in the city where the toilets would be built, adding that it would commence soon. The toilets, he said, would be provided gardens, play grounds, parks and , public parking lots, among others, for easy access. Agbanusi stressed that the provision of the toilets would not only be a social service but would provide employment for many people. “It is not only going to be a social service but also a source of employment; many people will be engaged to take care of the toilet facilities.” He attributed indiscriminate defecation in some parts of the city to the emergence of illegal bus stops and garages. The deputy director said that it would be morally unjust to arrest and prosecute any resident found guilty of indiscriminate defecation, since the toilets had not been provided. “We know that people defecate indiscriminately in the city, but it will be morally unjust for the board to arrest people doing this when we have not provided any alternative for them to make use of,” he said.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
News Jonathan's one term presidency Contd. from Front Page “I asked him, what are we going to take in return to our people, what do we tell them? Even if we want to convince our people, we have to take something to them, can you please confirm to us here and now that you are only going to run for one term? “To be fair to Jonathan, he did not utter a word. You get it clear? He didn’t say a word, he kept quiet and that is where we stopped. “But later, Governor (Shehu) Shema of Katsina State, and his friends, out of mischief, went and wrote a communiqué that Jonathan was running for only one term. He didn’t say it, but they wrote a communique, I challenge anybody to say that was not what happened. “You cannot say based on that, you have an agreement with Jonathan, you cannot say it. Writing a communique on behalf of somebody who didn’t utter a word, I cannot see it as an agreement. That was exactly what happened. “The Governor under Shema, particularly Shema being the one who is a lawyer, thinks he is smart. He was the one who wrote the communique and gave it to the press, that this is the communique of our meeting but to be fair to Jonathan, he didn’t utter a word and it was me who asked that question with Governor Danjuma Goje there at that time. “He was the one who was even saying Mr. President, we are with you but I was the one who bluntly asked him if he was going to run so that we can go and tell our people.” On his part, Katsina State governor Shehu Shema speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Lawal Matazu, rubbished Bello’s statement. Matazu said: “The issues leading to the 2011 elections are normal democratic procedures that always involve constructive engagement, dialogue, consensus and internal democracy of political parties. “Kanti Bello was a loser in that election, therefore anything he said today, after having left the PDP (the party that defeated him) and joined the CPC, should be taken with a pinch of salt given his widely known antecedents of misleading the public on critical national political issues.” Also commenting on the issue, a former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin, said that the issue of second term bid by Jonathan was not raised in meetings held before the 2011 general election that produced him as the president. Folarin, who represented Oyo Central senatorial district on the platform of the PDP, stated that the major issue discussed at the caucus party that produced Jonathan as the party’s candidate was mainly on 2011 and not second term bid. “I was at the meeting held on President Jonathan’s ambition to run in 2011 election. That was the focus. Honestly, I cannot recollect any discussion or issue raised about whether he would recontest or not. “The issue of second term was not our preoccupation at the time. I don’t remember us raising the issue or asking President Jonathan whether he would seek re-election or not. 2015 was not an issue of interest to party stakeholders before his (Jonathan’s) emergence in 2011 I must confess to you.”
Pension Fund: Court extends time for Senate, others to file counter affidavits
he Federal High Court on Monday in Abuja granted the Senate an extension of time to file a counter affidavit on a motion challenging its resolution for the warrant it issued on Abdulrasheed Maina. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Maina, Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Force Team, had dragged the Senate and seven other defendants to court in respect of the warrant for his arrest. The other defendants included the Senate President, Clerk of the Senate, Senate Committees on Establishment & Public Service and the State & Local Government Administration. Others were the Inspector General of Police, Sen. Aloysius Etuk, Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment & Public Service as well as Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Chairman, Senate Committee on State & Local Government Administration. At the resumed sitting on Monday, Justice Adamu Bello held that “since the respondents had yet to file their counter affidavits, arguments on the application cannot go on today’’. “In the circumstance, the respondents are given three days within which to file their counter affidavits and the applicant has three days to reply,’’ he said. In a related development, Mr Magaji Mahmud (SAN), counsel to Maina filed an oral application praying for an order for the maintenance of “statuesque’’ by
Senate President, David Mark all the parties. He submitted that such an order was necessary to stop the threat coming on his client from the respondents. The application was however, opposed by the counsel to the Senate, Mr Ken Ikonne (SAN), as according to him, similar relief was dismissed by the court on Feb 15. “The court should not allow its proceedings to be abused by the applicant (Maina), it is in the records of the court that this similar relief was thrown out on Friday last week. “We, therefore, urge the court to
refuse the prayer,’’ he said. Ms Ngosoo Uchegbu, counsel to the IG, aligned herself to Ikonne’s submissions, adding that “the applicant cannot by law appeal on the decision of the court here. The Judge, therefore, held that “Having listened to the submissions from all the parties on a call for definite order for the maintenance of ‘statuesque’ pending the determination of the suit on Fundamental Rights Enforcement, “I am of the view that the applicant should approach the appellate court. “The court on Feb. 15 had truly ruled against the relief and therefore cannot sit on appeal of a similar relief it has dismissed. The best place to test this decision is before my superiors at the appellate court. “Nevertheless, when parties have submitted themselves to the court jurisdiction, it becomes illegal to take any obnoxious steps,’’ he said. After listening to the arguments, Justice Bello adjourned to Feb 26 for the hearing of Maina’s motion on notice. The applicant (Maina), among other things is seeking an order to set aside the warrant of arrest placed on him by the Senate on Feb.2. He contended that the resolution constituted a violation of his fundamental human rights as guaranteed by Section 35 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Setraco evacuates staff from Nigeria site after 7 kidnapped By Aminu Abubakar
construction company has evacuated all of its staff from a northern Nigeria site after gunmen blasted into the facility and kidnapped seven foreigners, residents told AFP Monday. Police in Bauchi state, where the attack occured late Saturday, said their top priority was securing the release of the hostages, who reportedly include four Lebanese, one Briton, a Greek citizen and an Italian. The raid on the compound of the Lebanese-owned firm Setraco was one of the worst attacks targetting expatriates in northern Nigeria in recent years and may indicate a changing strategy by the radical Islamic groups in the region. The kidnapping of expatriates have typically occurred in Nigeria’s oil-rich south, with the hostages released
following a ransom payment. Residents in the town of Jama’are, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) from the state capital, said 12 vehicles arrived at the Setraco facility on Sunday and evacuated all the staff, excluding those native to the town. It was not immediately clear how many of the remaining workers were foreign and an official at Setraco’s office in Nigeria’s capital declined to comment, also refusing to provide contacts for the company spokesman. “Now all the company employees, who are not from Jama’are have left. Soldiers and policemen are conducting patrols in the town,” said resident Haruna Garba. The assailants stormed a police station and a prison in Jama’are before raiding the Setraco compound, police said. When the kidnapping operation began the assailants struggled to gain
Pastor arrested with human parts Contd. from Back Page Criminal Investigations Department for further investigation. According to him, fingers, heart, liver, kidney and intestines were all concealed in two bags, which were discovered during a stop-and-search
operation by policemen from Ikotun Police Divisional Office. Manko disclosed further that two bottles filled with what was suspected to be human blood, were also recovered from the suspects.
access to the site, then shot dead a security guard and used explosives to blast a hole through the rear gate, residents and police said. “There was a gaping hole... because the kidnappers used explosives to blow up the rear when the occupants refused to open the gate,” said Sale Nagaidam, who visited the site on Sunday and witnessed the heavy security deployment. Bauchi’s police spokesman Hassan Auyo told AFP Monday that it was too early to speculate on who was behind the attacks. “Our main priority now is to secure the release of the hostages,” he said, adding that a manhunt had been launched. Several residents said that Setraco had last year evacuated its foreign staff from the Jama’are site following a rise in deadly attacks blamed on Boko Haram and that the expatriates returned to the region about four months ago. The governments of Greece and Italy have confirmed that their citizens were among those taken hostage. Beirut has acknowledged that two Lebanese nationals were seized, but has not matched the police figure of four, while the British foreign office has said it is making “enquiries” before confirming that a Briton was abducted. Ansaru has claimed responsibility for the kidnap.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
News Onne Port Project creates 30,000 jobs - Maku
he Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said in Port Harcourt that Onne Port in Rivers that was rehabilitated by the Federal Government had created 30, 000 jobs. Maku, who made the remark at a Town Hall meeting during the Good Governance Tour of the state, said the fourth phase of the project covered 9,000 hectares of land which was expected to be delivered in August. Maku said the project was one of the Federal Government’s infrastructure developments that would not only create jobs for the people but also improve the economic base of the nation. He said the government was targeting power and transport because of their importance to development. Maku commended the Rivers government for helping to generate power for the people but said the Federal Government was trying its best to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the nation. He said that the government had delivered the Lagos-Kano rail line to enhance rail transportation, adding that the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail line was on course. “We may not have finished at Port Harcourt end but I want to assure you that at the end of the year, the rehabilitation of railway will be completed at the Port Harcourt end,“ Maku said. He said that already, work on the line had reached Aba, Abia, axis through Makurdi and would soon get to Port Harcourt. The minister said that government was also building a new line that would run from Lagos to Calabar. He commended Gov. Rotimi Amaechi for his achievements in the state, especially in agriculture, roads, education and sports. Maku urged the people of the state to resist any form of insecurity in the state in order to safeguard the people-oriented projects already put in place.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku
Business Plateau govt. pays N700m to save Jos Breweries from liquidation
he Plateau State Government has paid N700 million to debtors to save the now comatose Jos International Breweries (JIB) from total liquidation, an official has confirmed. Mr John Mankilik, the Chairman of the board saddled with reviving JIB, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos. He said that that settlement of the debt owed to Diamond Bank, the outfit’s creditors, was a “a major step forward toward the revival of the company. “When the board was constituted in November 2010, we found that the company was not only totally down but it was also heavily indebted; and the creditors wanted the entire firm dispensed with as scrap to reduce the debt. “But we struggled and settled that debt; we are already looking toward getting investors to re-start business again,’’ he said. Mankilik said that the initial debt claim was N1.3 billion, adding, however, that after thorough checks by the committee, it was ascertained that only N970 million was actually owed. “Of the confirmed figure, we found that most of it was accumulated interests on the principals. We then tried to negotiate with the creditors, especially since the company was no more in operation, and came up with
the final figure of N700 million, which we have paid up,’’ he said Mankilik described JIB as a “very viable company’’, recalling that it was paying the salaries of the entire workforce of Plateau some years ago. “Also, aside its massive revenue, the company employed 7,000 persons directly, and this is in addition to indirect employees and other multiplier effects,’’ he said. He said that the board had also been battling with court cases instituted by workers and other contractors that supplied all manners of items, assuring the people, however, that the situation was being “steadily addressed’’. Mankilik said that the board
approached the Bank Of Industry (BOI), which was ready to offer N2 billion for JIB’s revival, adding, however, that Diamond Bank was not prepared to assist the brewery to access the funds. “At that time, Diamond Bank was not comfortable with JIB’s debt profile, but now that we have settled our debts, we shall return to the BOI and apply afresh for that facility,’’ he added. He said that some foreign investors, especially those from South Africa, had shown interest in JIB, adding, however, that the state government wanted to revive the firm before looking at the offers. “If we don’t do that, the value of the firm shall be grossly low and that will not be good for the Plateau people.’’ Mankilik said that his board was also battling to defray large bills submitted by some JIB lawyers, adding that over N10 million was involved in the legal costs. “We have compiled their claims and have studied them. We are reaching out to the state government and we shall soon get back to the lawyers, the workers and other creditors,’’ he said. Mankilik thanked Gov. Jonah Jang for his commitment to reviving moribund industries, calling for concerted support from all stakeholders for the government’s success in that direction.
Inflation rate in Nigeria stood at nine per cent in January as against the 12.0 per cent recorded in December, 2012, Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation has said. This is contained in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja and signed by Kale. The statement said that the figure decreased by 3.0 per cent in January, and that the monthly change in the composite Consumer Price Index (CPI), was as a result of the declines in major Food and Core subindices. “Food Prices were slightly lower from levels exhibited in December, as the index declined by 0.1 percentage points from the 10.2 per cent exhibited in December to 10.1 per cent in January. “The marginal decline in the Food subindex is as a result of the floods which occurred from July to Mid-October, as well as other demand and supply conditions,’’ it stated. The statistician-general said that the relative moderation of the headline index from 12.0 in December to 9.0 in January could be largely attributed to base effects. “These are as a result of higher price levels in the previous year, which imply that the year-on-year changes exhibited this year will be muted. “In particular, the Nigerian economy exhibited several shocks in January 2012. The partial repeal of the Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) subsidy led to increases in transportation costs, as well as secondary effects, as the transportation costs affected both food and non-food prices. “There were also the civil protests which followed, and the man-made price gouging during the month, as merchants tried to take advantage of temporary shortages. “The resulting base effects – the relative lower rise in year-on-year changes exhibited in January 2013- is particularly noticeable
in the decline in the Core index, decreasing to 11.3 per cent in January (from 13.7 per cent in December), Kale said. The statement noted that “the Headline Index is made up of the Core Index and Farm Produce items. As Processed Foods are included in both the Core and Food subindices, this implies that these sub-indices are not mutually-exclusive. “In January 2013, the composite CPI increased by 0.62 per cent month-onmonth from index levels recorded in December 2012.’’ It said that the urban inflation rate was recorded at 9.2 per cent year-on-year in January, a decrease of 5.2 percentage points from the 14.5 per cent recorded in December 2012. The release added that the rural index decreased by 1.1 percentage points to 9.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis in January. “On a month-on-month basis, the Urban All-item index increased by 0.5 per cent in January from levels recorded in December, while the Rural All Items index increased by 0.73 per cent from December. “The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve-month period ending December 2012 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve-month period was recorded at 11.9 per cent,’’ it said. The statement said that the corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the Urban index was 14.0 per cent, a decline from the 14.6 per cent recorded in December, while the corresponding Rural index declined slightly by 0.1 percentage points to 10.4 per cent in January. “In January, the composite Food Index increased year-on-year by 10.1 per cent to 142.3 points. The year-on-year change was marginally lower than the 10.2 per cent recorded in December. “On a month-on-month basis, the Food
index increased by 0.8 per cent from December 2012 to January 2013,’’ it stated. The statement said that the recorded rise in the Food Index was as a result of higher food prices in various classes within the index. “In particular, higher food prices were recorded in the bread and cereals, imported food, vegetable prices due to the dry season, higher prices of potato, yams, and other tubers, and fish. “On a year-on-year basis, this is the second consecutive month of moderation in food prices since prices began to rise in September last year, partially as a result of the flood and other market forces. “The average annual rate of rise of the index for the twelve-month period ending in January 2013 was 11.1 per cent when compared to the same period in 2011,’’ it said. The statement said that the “All items less Farm Produce” index which excluded the prices of volatile agricultural products increased by 11.3 per cent year-on-year, adding that the figure was 2.3 percentage points lower than the 13.7 per cent recorded in December. “On month-on-month basis, the Core index increased by 1.4 per cent from levels recorded in December. “The increases in the Core index was as a result of increases in the Housing, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels division, in particular liquid fuels (kerosene), Actual rental and imputed rent prices, garment prices, and non-durable housing goods. “The average 12 month annual rate of rise of the index was recorded at 13.7 per cent (year-on-year) for the twelve month period ending in January 2013, a 0.2 percentage point decline from the 13.7 per cent recorded in December 2012,’’ it said. (NAN)
Plateau state Governor, David Jang
Inflation rate in January lower than December, 2012 by 3.0% - NBS
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Around Africa Togo launches integrated disaster project
ogo at the weekend launched a four-year project for an integrated management of disasters and lands. The 8.5 billion FCFA project, which is being financed by the World Bank, aims at preventing and addressing natural disasters in an effective way and strengthening measures already in place to reduce risks and impacts of disasters at the national and local levels. The project covers several areas, including the reinforcement of institutions and sensitisation and activities at the community level to better address climate change issues. It also deals with better management of lands, establishment of early warning and
follow-up systems. The project will in the long run ensure the restoration of the ecosystem to minimise floods for sustainable agricultural and forestry practices, according to the Ministry of Environment. The representative of the World Bank in Togo, Herve Assah, said the project was part of the national investment programme for environment and natural resources. Togo experienced devastating floods in 2007 that caused huge damages in the West African country. In 2010 the cost of the rehabilitation and reconstruction following such a disaster in the country amounted to over 20 billion FCFA, according to official sources.
South Sudan president retires over 100 army generals
outh Sudan has retired over 100 generals as part of a sweeping restructuring of the former rebel force, in a move partly aimed at demilitarising the fledgling nation’s government, officials said Monday. The presidential decree to retire 117 generals follows similar orders last month for 35 other generals and all six deputy army chiefs of staff. “They all finished their time in the military service so they are retired but are paid...There must be new blood to come up for a change, because we are a new nation at last,” army spokesman Kella Kueth told AFP. South Sudan won independence from former civil war foe Sudan in July 2011, facing a raft of challenges to rebuild the conflict-ravaged nation, including turning a bloated guerrilla army of some 200,000 troops into a regular force. The army absorbed several former rival rebel factions — some once acting as proxy forces for Sudan — as part of peace building efforts, swallowing up large chunks of the impoverished nation’s budget. Several of the generals now hold government positions, too. “It is a way of separating the military and civilians, which the army has not been very good at for years. So it’s a positive
South Sudan President Salva Kiir change”, said one Western diplomat on condition of anonymity. But with rebel militia forces still operating and a pension system not yet implemented, stripping army commanders of both title and salary would be a dangerous move. “This is about cleaning up the administration and professionalizing the army, but it is a delicate process and has to be done slowly,” Matthew LeRiche, an academic and expert on the former South Sudanese rebel force said.
South Africa’s Ramphele launches new party to challenge ANC Respected anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele launched a new political party on Monday to challenge South Africa’s ruling ANC, saying selfinterested and corrupt leaders were threatening the continent’s biggest economy. Invoking the spirit of Nelson Mandela and the optimism that prevailed at South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994, Ramphele said the dream of the “Rainbow Nation” was dying under the African National Congress (ANC). “Our society’s greatness is being undermined by a massive failure of governance,” she said, urging South Africans to “build our nation into the country of our dreams”. Ramphele, 65, faces a formidable challenge. Although political support for the ANC is weakening 19 years after the end of white-minority rule, it remains an
unrivalled political machine and commands a nearly two-thirds majority in parliament. But the medical doctor and former World Bank managing director has the respect of much of the country’s black majority as a partner of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, who died in 1977 in apartheid police custody. She was also placed under house arrest for seven years by the apartheid government because of her political work. She has regularly challenged authority and the ANC on its failings. The new party, which will contest elections due early next year, will be called ‘Agang’, the Sesotho word for “Let us build”. The ANC “noted” her announcement but said Ramphela’s launch speech, outside the Constitutional Court in central Johannesburg, offered nothing new. The 101-year-old liberation movement also dismissed Ramphele’s accusation that it was to blame for income inequality, social violence, failing education and other problems. “The criticism of the ANC is a failure to acknowledge that many of the challenges were not created by the ANC. It is historical,” party spokesman Keith Khoza said. “Any party that won elections would have faced the same societal issues in education, health, housing and so on.”
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reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Pistorius shooting puts spotlight on South African gun violence C
harged with shooting dead his girlfriend, fallen South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has put a renewed spotlight on gun violence in a country where 42 people are killed a day. The champion athlete is accused of firing four bullets from his 9-mm handgun into model Reeva Steenkamp in a premeditated murder on Valentine’s Day. “We have a very good gun law in South Africa and in the last ten years we have seen a 50 percent reduction in gun deaths,” said Gun Free South Africa’s Adele Kirsten. “That’s good but we still got too many arms and more work to be done, especially in banning civilians having hand guns that should be only for police.” Pistorius lived on a secure housing estate with stringent access control and towering electrified walls. Yet the double amputee Paralympian owned a gun, visited a firing range and spoke about false security alarms at home. High level security is a familiar sight in the country’s wealthier suburbs which are patrolled by fleets of private security with armed guards raisable by panic buttons installed in homes. Rampant crime means an almost “continuous level of traumatic stress” with high levels of anxiety and fear, said Monica Bandeira, a psychologist and researcher at the Centre for Violence and Reconciliation. “In terms of living in a place where our daily murder rate is
“The issue is less about firearm ownership and more about gender violence in this case and violence more generally,” said Newham. “The biggest threat to South African women are their immediate partners and family members and friends. It’s not strangers,” he said. “We need to start looking a lot more carefully at how men treat women and their assumptions about their own masculinity. Using violence is seen as a sign of masculinity and that’s wrong.”
higher than some war zones, it’s envitable that there is an impact,” she told AFP. “In a sense one could argue that we are living in a low intensity war.” According to Gun Free South Africa, there were 1.5 million licensed gun owners and 2.9 million registered guns in 2011. The population is around 52 million people. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the percentage of gun murders in South Africa was significantly less than that in the United States in 2007. But the rate per 100,000 people was 17 percent in South Africa and 3.8 percent in the US. Strict legislation on firearm ownership has been credited with slashing the gunshot
homicide rate in the past decade amid an overall drop in murders. — Owning a gun is not a right — Unlike in the United States, owning a gun is not a right and tough rules apply. Gun enthusiasts see this as having to plead to be allowed to protect the right to life. “The only effective way to protect yourself against intruders is by using a gun. Either directly, or indirectly by summoning armed response or the police,” said Wouter de Waal of Gun Owners of South Africa. The group argue that few can afford private security and that the police, facing vehicle and staff shortages, are not always quick enough. “Therefore, we don’t feel safe in our home,” he said.
But analyst Gareth Newham of the Institute for Security Studies said evidence showed guns in homes pose “a huge risk”. The gun lobby debunks this view vigorously. “Very few people successfully use firearms to defend themselves,” said Newham. “Because of the high crime rate that we do have, it does fuel a sense of insecurity and anxiety and then people think the best way to protect themselves is to purchase a firearm,” he added. Steenkamp’s killing has also sounded alarms over violence against women. The 29-year-old law graduate is one of around 2,500 women killed annually according to the South African Institute of Race Relations.
Reeva Steenkamp, 29, had been dating Oscar Pistorious since November. She was shot dead on Valentine’s Day at his boyfriend’s gated mansion in South Africa
Ghana government cuts fuel subsidies, prices jump
*Subsidy cut aims at narrowing budget deficit *Price of petrol at the pump jumps 20 pct *Fitch revised Ghana to negative on deficit worries By Kwasi Kpodo
hana cut fuel subsidies on Sunday as its new government took measures to curb spending after the West African exporter of cocoa, gold and oil overshot its budget deficit target by almost 100 percent last year. The National Petroleum Authority (NPA) said in a statement that fuel price hikes were necessary to cover the cost of an increase in crude oil prices and the depreciation of the local cedi currency by about 14 percent last year. The new prices, which took effect on Sunday, saw premium
petrol and diesel prices jump 20 percent per litre in cedi terms, while Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) rose 50 percent. Prices of kerosene, marine diesel and residual fuel oil also increased 15 percent per litre. The decision to cut subsidies came days after Fitch rating agency revised the nation’s outlook to negative from stable, citing the severe deterioration of its fiscal deficit. “The government has funded the budget deficit mainly through borrowing at high interest rates on the domestic market, at 22.8 percent for 91day T-bills,” the agency said on Friday. “While current expenditure
has surged, the share of capital expenditure has fallen, which could harm longer-term growth prospects and worsen debt dynamics,” Fitch said. Decisions by governments in the region to cut fuel subsidies have previously led to social unrest. Nigeria’s government was forced last year to reinstate some subsidies it had cut after several days of strikes and protests, while Ghana’s last attempt to cut subsidies more than two years ago resulted in opposition-led street protests. Ghana’s 2012 deficit reached 12.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), almost double its target of 6.7 percent, due to excess public sector wages,
shortfall in projected tax revenue and widening fuel subsidies, the central bank said last week. Like several other countries in West and Central Africa, Ghana had planned to cut the swelling fuel subsidies last year following pressure from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, who see them as wasteful and inefficient. But Ghana’s government delayed taking the measures ahead of national elections in December which confirmed President John Dramani Mahama in office after he took over following the surprise death in July of his predecessor John Atta Mills.
NPA’s chief executive Alex Mould said fuel subsidies for last year totalled one billion cedis ($526 million) and were expected to rise to 2.4 billion cedis this year. Mould said that despite the new price hikes, the government was still maintaining a total fuel subsidy outlay of about $23 million, based on a crude oil price of $116 per barrel. The subsidy would target particular social programmes. Finance Minister Seth Terkper, who is expected to present the new government’s first budget to parliament on March 5, said it would aim to narrow the budget deficit through subsidy cuts and boosting tax revenue.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
News Highest-ranked female judo master dies at 99
eiko Fukuda, the Japanese-born granddaughter of a samurai who learned judo from its founder and became the highest-ranked woman in the martial art, has died at age 99 in San Francisco, her friend and caregiver said. Fukuda passed away of natural causes at her home on Feb. 9, said Shelley Fernandez, 82, who lived with Fukuda, helped her run the Soko Joshi Judo Club for women in San Francisco and referred to the woman as her adopted older sister. Standing only 4 foot 10 inches (1.47 meters) tall, Fukuda ventured into the fire-bombed streets of her native Tokyo during World War Two to reach the dojo where she taught classes. Fukoda continued to do judo exercises into her 90s, but used a wheelchair in her final years. At her dojo, she sat in a chair as her assistant teachers worked with students, and would chime in with instructions, Fernandez said. ‘Up until the last, she was very lucid and she never forgot any judo techniques - ever,’ said Fernandez, who added that Fukuda taught at the school three times a week until she died. In July 2011, USA Judo conferred on Fukuda the rank of ‘10th dan,’ the highest level of mastery possible in the martial art. She was the only woman in the world and the only person in the United States to ever achieve that status. Only three others hold that title, and they are all men who received the promotion from the Kodokan Institute in Tokyo, which is considered the headquarters for the sport. The Kodokan promoted Fukuda to ‘9th dan’ in 2006, five years after she received that rank from the U.S.-based branch of judo. The same year the Kodokan promoted her, it vaulted the three current male holders of ‘10th dan’ to that level. ‘CHOSE JUDO OVER MARRIAGE’ Fukuda was born in Tokyo on April 12, 1913, into an upper-class family. Her grandfather was a samurai master of jujitsu who taught the martial art to Jigoro Kano, who went on to create judo. When Fukuda was 21, Kano invited her to join a women’s division at the Kodokan. As a woman, Fukuda had been expected to marry and devote herself to such home-based arts as the Japanese tea ceremony, but instead she gave herself over to judo. The decision was chronicled in a documentary film about her life called ‘Mrs. Judo’ that has been on the festival circuit in recent months. ‘That was my marriage,’ a tearful Fukuda said in Japanese in the film. ‘I chose judo over marriage. I never imagined I would live so long with this.’ Female judo teachers in Japan were not allowed to marry, and Fukuda did not want to give up the sport, Fernandez said. In another restriction placed on Fukuda because of her gender, she was barred from competing on the mat against an opponent, Fernandez said. But she demonstrated judo techniques with a partner at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, the year judo was introduced as an Olympic sport. Fukuda came to the United States in 1966 and became a US citizen six years later, founding her San Francisco-based school around 1970. Her motto for herself and those she taught was, ‘Be strong, be gentle, be beautiful.’ ‘Judo, it’s not just a sport, it’s a mental, physical and spiritual centreing of your life, and it’s an art and a science as well, and her life was totally in balance,’ Fernandez said.
Around The World Obama draft bill to clear path to citizenship for illegal immigrants: Paper
draft of a White House immigration proposal would allow illegal immigrants to become legal permanent residents within eight years, USA Today reported. The plan, obtained by the newspaper, also would provide for more security funding and require businesses to check the immigration status of new hires within four years. Illegal immigrants could also apply for a newly created “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” visa, under the draft bill, it said. If approved, they could apply for the same provisional legal status for spouses or children living outside the country, according to the draft. The White House has emphasized the importance of creating a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally. Many Republicans emphasize that the nation’s borders must be secured first.
President Barack Obama Latinos favored President Barack Obama over Republican Mitt Romney in the November 6 election by 71 percent to 27 percent, helping tilt politically divided states to the Democratic incumbent. Members of Congress also are drafting
their own immigration bills. In the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, a bipartisan group has been negotiating an immigration proposal for years and is writing its own bill. Last month, four Republican senators joined with four Democratic senators to announce their agreement on the general outlines of an immigration plan. One of those Republican senators, Marco Rubio of Florida, dismissed the leaked White House draft bill, however, as a seriously flawed rehash of failed immigration policies that would make the country’s immigration problems worse. “If actually proposed, the president’s bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come,” Rubio, who is a CubanAmerican, said in a statement on Saturday
Prisoner X arrested after leaking Mossad work: ABC A suspected Mossad agent known as Prisoner X was arrested by his own spymasters after leaking detailed information about his work to Australian intelligence services, according to sources cited by broadcaster ABC Monday. Ben Zygier, an Australian-Israeli, gave Australian intelligence officials a comprehensive account of a number of Mossad operations, the sources told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Israel’s parliament said it would launch an “intensive” inquiry into Zygier’s arrest and death after the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent programme last week exposed his identity. According to the ABC, Zygier was found hanged in his cell in Ayalon prison near Tel Aviv in December 2010, in a case Israel went to extreme lengths to
cover up. It imposed a total media blackout on the case but was forced to ease the restrictions after the story made headlines across the world, rendering the local gag order ineffective. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that shining too much light on intelligence activities can “badly damage” state security. ABC said sources have told the Foreign Correspondent programme that Zygier gave Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) officials information that included plans for a top-secret mission in Italy that had been years in the making. It is unknown who initiated the contact with the Australian intelligence services, which came during one of his frequent visits back with his wife and
children. In one of four trips to Australia in the years before his death he reportedly applied for a work visa to Italy. ABC said it understood Zygier was one of three Australian Jews working for Mossad who changed their names several times, taking out new passports as they travelled in the Middle East and Europe. Zygier reportedly set up a Europebased communications company for Mossad that exported electronic components to Arab countries as well as Iran, a venture that employed the two other dual citizens. Zygier, who immigrated to Israel in around 2001, is believed to have been arrested in February 2010. He was found hanged in his cell 10 months later despite being under 24-hour surveillance.
the prayers saying he hoped they would be an “oasis”. The pope will remain in the Vatican with some of his closest aides for the
traditional pre-Easter retreat and will only take a short break each day to meet with his secretary Georg Gaenswein to deal with urgent Church matters. He will be praying together with the Roman Curia — effectively the government of the Catholic Church — in a private chapel in his residence. The Vatican’s culture minister, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi — seen as a possible long-shot candidate for the papacy — has been selected to lead the retreat this year and has written 17 spiritual “meditations” for the week. “After the storm, my task will be to create a moment of oasis,” Ravasi said in an interview with Vatican radio before the beginning of the retreat. “The pope wanted it himself and he did not cancel. This moment of silence, this white space, really has the sense of passing to the new horizon towards which the pope is moving and in which we too will have to live,” he added.
Pope begins week-long spiritual retreat ope Benedict XVI began a weeklong spiritual retreat out of the public eye on Monday ahead of his resignation, with the cardinal leading
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
News Man on trial in Tenerife for beheading British grandmother.
Bulgarian man went on trial Monday accused of decapitating a British grandmother in a store on the Spanish holiday island of Tenerife and then running out with her severed head. Deyan Valentinov Deyanov pleaded not guilty to repeatedly stabbing and then beheading Jennifer Mills-Westley, 60, with a knife at a Chinese general goods store in May 2011. Witnesses said they saw Deyanov leave the store with the woman’s bloodied head in his hand, which he then threw on the pavement, reportedly shouting “God is on Earth”. Police arrested him as he was struggling with a security guard and trying to escape. Prosecutors are seeking a sentence of 20 years in a mental asylum for the 29year-old, who has chronic paranoid schizophrenia, as well as a payment of 200,000 euros ($267,000) to the victim’s family. The nine-member jury was shown around 15 minutes of security camera footage of the attack but Deyanov said he did not recognise himself in the images, which he said were “a montage, a film”. The court also heard testimony from a young man who helped detain Deyanov and an ambulance driver who rushed to the scene and saw the Bulgarian man carrying the victim’s head. Mills-Westley had no relation to Deyanov. The defendant was released from a Tenerife hospital where he underwent psychiatric treatment just three months before Mills-Westley was killed, according to Spanish media reports. In January 2011, he reportedly struck a security guard in the head with a rock, breaking several of his teeth. The victim’s daughters, Sarah Mears, 43, and Sam Gomes, 38, attended the hearing. “On Friday 13th May 2011 our lives changed irrevocably when we heard the shocking news that our much loved mother had been brutally murdered in Tenerife,” they said in a joint statement. “Now, nearly two years later we will come face to face with the man who took her life that day and relive the heart breaking details of the events leading up to her untimely death. “Going back to Tenerife not only is a daunting prospect but it will reopen our wounds,” the statement added. “We have to hope that justice will prevail so we can lay our mother to rest, and remember her in happier times rather than the memories we currently have — memories which are shrouded by the brutality of her death.” Mills-Westley, originally from Norwich in eastern England, had been living in Tenerife after retiring from her job as a road safety officer. Deyanov reportedly had a history of mental illness which had seen him sectioned in Britain, where he had lived, and in the Canary Islands. The largest of the Canary Islands, which are located just off the northwest coast of Africa, Tenerife is home to around one million residents and is one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. The trial resumes on Wednesday and is expected to last one week.
Around The World JFK bomber jacket sold at auction for $665,500
leather bomber jacket that belonged to slain US president John F. Kennedy has been sold at auction for $665,500, far exceeding the initial estimate, a Massachusetts auction house said Monday. The brown Air Force One jacket was one of 700 lots put on the auction block
Sunday after the family of David Powers, a special assistant to Kennedy, discovered a treasure trove of JFK memorabilia in the Powers family home. The jacket was initially estimated at $20,000 to $40,000. Among the other JFK items up for sale, nearly 50 years after his
assassination, were photographs, campaign posters, letters and books belonging to the president. The John McInnis auction house said on its Facebook page that the jacket was sold for $570,000. With the premium, the total was $665,500. The sale lasted more than six hours, the house said.
Adopted Russian boy murdered by US mother: Moscow
woman in the US state of Texas has killed her adopted Russian son, the Kremlin’s envoy for children said Monday, outlining the latest alleged abuse of an adopted Russian child by American parents. “A three-year-old Russian child has been murdered by his adoptive mother in the state of Texas,” ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on his office’s Twitter feed @RFdeti. “Three-year-old Maxim was beaten (according to the investigators) by his adoptive mother, who fed him psychoactive drugs over a long period of time,” he said, expressing dismay that the US State Department kept silent about the case. “He died before the arrival of the ambulance called by his adoptive mother. According to the autopsy report, the boy had many injuries.” Russia has long complained about the treatment of Russian orphans adopted by American parents and in December controversially passed a law banning adoptions of Russian children by Americans. In a coordinated move, both Russia’s foreign ministry and the Investigative Committee quickly put out statements regarding the case of Maxim Kuzmin, who died on January 21, according to the ministry’s human rights envoy. The death is “yet another case of inhuman torture of a Russian child adopted by US parents,” said commissioner Konstantin Dolgov. He said the parents gave the boy the drug Risperdal used to treat adult schizophrenia and his body had signs of beatings. He added that child protection services said that the boy died “due to abusive treatment by the adoptive
Artyom Savelyev, a 9-year-old Russian boy, is in a foster home in Tomilino, outside Moscow in April 2012. Savelyev is a Russian boy whose adoptive mother sent him on a plane alone from the US back to Moscow in April 2010. mother L. Shatto.” “We are forced to declare that the US State Department — unlike the authorities of Ector county — did not help our consulate representatives in finding out the causes of a new fatal incident with a Russian child in the United States,” Dolgov said in a videoed statement. An obituary for a boy named Max Alan Shatto of Ector County, posted on the website of Owens memorial funeral home, identified his parents as Alan and Laura Shatto. He died on Monday afternoon, January 21, the website says. “Max, you were not with us long enough to leave fingerprints on the walls but you left fingerprints upon our hearts,” the obituary said.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said it began to look into the case and may eventually open a criminal probe once they look at documents provided by the foreign ministry and Astakhov. Russia has previously complained about unfair rulings in cases of abuse of Russian children by American adoptive parents. In December, President Vladimir Putin said that the US court system “often simply does not react” to crimes against adoptees and “frees people who carry out crimes against children from justice.” “Is it normal, when you are humiliated?” Putin fumed at a press conference as he explained the reasons for the adoption ban. “You shouldn’t humiliate the country.”
Fight to bar tainted LA cardinal from conclave
n association of US Catholics has launched a petition to keep a retired Los Angeles cardinal
Cardinal Roger Mahony
mired in a pedophilia scandal from taking part in the conclave that will choose the next pope. The group, Catholics United, is targeting Roger Mahony, who last month was relieved of all church administrative and public duties for mishandling abuse claims against dozens of priests, dating back to the 1980s. “Cardinal Mahony: Stay Home,” the online petition reads. “Your further implication in the church sex abuse scandal and being barred from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles should be an indication to you that you should not attend the next Papal Conclave.” Mahony was stripped of his duties by his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, who took over for him in 2011. “If a Cardinal is stripped of public ministry in his diocese, why should he be rewarded with being allowed to vote for the next pope?” the group asked. “Cardinal Mahony would further increase the scandal and shame in our Church by attending the Papal Conclave.” According to Catholics United, Gomez is in favor of Mahony’s
attending the conclave that will choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned unexpectedly last week. Mahony, who is now 76, took part in the vote that chose Joseph Ratzinger as pontiff in 2005. He took the name Benedict XVI. And Mahony is theoretically still a member of the conclave made up of 117 cardinals aged under 80 who will meet behind closed doors in the Sistine Chapel until a new pope is chosen. This month the Los Angeles archdiocese released files on over 100 clerics accused of sex abuse, as required under a 2007 lawsuit deal, after records were published showing Mahony discussing how to cover up alleged crimes. In 2007 the archdiocese, then run by Mahony, reached a $660 million settlement with about 500 alleged victims. Under the deal, the archdiocese agreed to release the personnel files of clergy accused of abuse. Records published by the Los Angeles Times on January 22 showed church leaders including Mahony discussing how to cover up priests’ alleged crimes in California in the 1980s.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
APGA: Karma Has Finally Caught-up With Victor Umeh? By Odimegwu Onwumere
n “Reincarnation and Karma”, Stephen Knapp educates us that Karma is one of those topics that many people know a little about, but it is often more complex than most people realize. The second law of thermodynamics is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. On the universal scale, this is the law of karma. The law of karma basically states that every action has a reaction and whatever you do to others will later return to you, either in this life or a future life. Furthermore, ignorance of the law is no excuse. We are still accountable for everything we do, regardless of whether we understand it or not. We cannot escape it, even if we do not believe it. Therefore, the best thing is to learn how it works. If everyone understood the Law of Karma, we would all be living a happier life in a brighter world. I was too sure that a day like this would come against the embattled and estranged All Progressive Grand Alliance’s (APGA) National chairman, Victor Umeh, because the founder of the party, Chekwas Okorie was hounded out by those he brought to the party. Okorie was crying and shouting above his voice, but the powers that felt they were in the party did not care to listen. All they cared about was ‘politics’. Nothing more! They could say that Okorie was removed as chairman by the court of law. But in ernest, was the court not adduced? I don’t know Umeh neither Okorie except as I read about them in the newspapers like other Nigerians. One person that is conspicuously in the scenario that I have met one-on-one is Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State. It was during one of the Press Conferences that he held at Government House Awka, and I was among the invited pressmen. Umeh reminds me of how people in our country talk about religion so much, but hurl the word Karma around nonchalantly, as if it belongs to the Traditional Believers they regard as fetish, periscoping through the self-acclaimed Godly people’s inadequate and prejudiced lens. There would always be karma! Umeh who is a Knight in the Catholic Church had in different interviews talked about how “God” has helped him to the ‘level’ he is today. He rather forgot that there are always the principles of Karmic Justice, which
provides deep lessons to learn. The God of Justice (pls, not Jehovah or Yahweh) but Karma, has given Umeh a wonderful gift to use as he was disgracefully chased-out as the national chairman of APGA, by the same court they used against the good-natured Chekwas Okorie, whose tears of how they intimidated him has not dried from the ground the fell. How I wish that Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu is alive today! Remember? Okorie brought Ojukwu to APGA and made him the Leader of the party and latter, the founder of the party was made the feeble. It was a long encounter between Okorie and the forces that hijacked the party he founded from him. In an appeal instituted by the former National Chairman of the party, Chief Okorie, challenging the decision of an Abuja High Court, which validated his ouster from the Party by the Umeh faction, the tussle came to an intimidating end on 13 th January
Founder and former chairman of APGA, Chekwas Okorie
2010, as a Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, delivered its judgment against Okorie. The stubborn confrontation for the Chairmanship of the party didn’t start in 2010; it started in the year 2004. Umeh faction met and sent out Okorie from the party. They gave a good dog a bad name in order to hang her, mouthing that Okorie was shooting to sell out the party’s mandate. Governor Obi was then seeking to retrieve the state from Dr. Chris Ngige, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party. Umeh and his splinter group gave all sorts of names to Okorie. Apart from their shamefaced claim that Okorie wanted to sell the party, when they saw that that was not saleable, they said that Okorie embezzled the party’s fund, and converted same to his private use. How true was it that Okorie was the sole signatory to the then party’s accounts? They even expelled Okorie from the party that he founded! Humiliation, upon
Acting National Chairman, Maxi Okwu
humiliation!! Umeh did not remember Karma or respect the “God” he has always boasted of serving. Upon that the National Working Committee of the party latter met and ratified Okorie’s expulsion before he moved towards an Abuja High Court, to challenge his eviction, Umeh and co was busy playing ‘politics’. But still Okorie has face to present today in Nigeria than Umeh. Okorie was able to file an action before the court seeking to have his expulsion quashed and sought for an order of the court dismissing this Umeh. It is today palpable that the victory that Okorie could not get then, Umeh has finally gotten it but in the opposite and is disgraced out of the party. Even though that Okorie failed in his pursuit at the High Court and talked to the appellate court to set aside the lower court’s judgment, Umeh is straight away disgraced, not only by the court that he used against Okorie, but by the same forces that he was boasting with against Okorie, and Maxi Okwu has replaced him in acting capacity. Umeh is today suffering in the APGA that his team suppressed Okorie in, and the latter’s matter suffered series of adjournment including applications for stay. Umeh was then thanking the judiciary for the unanimous decision reached by the court, which upheld the decision of the trial court and held that Okorie’s ouster from the party was authentically done, in line with the stipulations of the party. While a cost of Seventy Five Thousand Naira was awarded against Okorie in favour of Umeh then, the case is different today. A national shame has been awarded against Umeh in favour of Okorie. Not even the Supreme Court can save Umeh, as he has started to talk ills of the judiciary that he was once full of praises for. How I wish that this Victor Umeh could lay hand on the work entitled “Eckankar: Ancient Wisdom for Today” by Todd Cramer, he would understand that Karma applies itself in the most exacting and clever of ways. If we deprived another human being of freedom in a previous life, we’d probably have our freedom curtailed in this life. This experience would give us time to reconsider our views and learn the Law of Love. Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/ Author, contributed this piece from Aba, Abia State. Call: +2348032552855. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Major Hamza Al-Mustapha is the only person that can cage Boko Haram – Barr. Amobi Nzelu Barrister Amobi Nzelu, popularly known as “Apo 6 lawyer”, is a Human Rights Activist.In an exclusive interview with UDE EJIKEME in his office in Abuja he declared that Major Al-Mustapha is a victim rather than a villian, and that he is the only Nigerian who can stop Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.He also spoke on sundry issues. Excerpts: What is your take on Major Hamza Al-Mustapha’s case with Federal Government? he case is still pending. It’s being process at the court of Appeal. There is no much argument about it since he has written and Government of the day is looking at it. And one thing I must assure you in this matter is “Let the will of God be prevail”. You see, there are seasons and times. And there are also harvest time. The time to born, and the time to die. time to laugh and time to cry. Anything that has a beginning, has an end. Mustapha is a victim of an emperor in a uniform. In Army there is what they call obey the last order. His job was to protect the first family, and to also defend any attack to the seat of power. That was exactly what Major Mustpaha did. Therefore, the same evidence that was used to discharge General Bamaiyi, Dambaba, J.B. Yakubu and Rabo Lawal, should be apply to him. However, I have a sympathy with the judge that handled the case. Because, if any judge of Yoruba origin says that Mustapha is not guilty, they will burn his house immediately after the pronouncement of the judgment in the court. So, let the Appeal Court handle the mater at their own level. So, what is happening in Mustapha’s case is more political than we think. I have done a memo in this regard. I have also done a memo on Boko Haram. Mustapha is from Nguru in Yobe state. And Yobe state is the enclave of Boko Haram. Mustapha is a home boy. So, if Government brings Mustapha out today and say, please, help us to cage Boko Haram, I bet you that he can do it. Part of these uprising today is as a result of piled up grievances. I have sympathy for Mustapha. He is the only person that can stop Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. General Sani Abacha and Major Al-Mustapha trained a group called Strike Force. They also trained Body Guards (BGS) Mustapha trained these people in Korea and Libya. Since Abacha died, these people fizzled out into the society and we don’t know them. There is no roll-call. That is why they can handle any gun. They call them “Body Guards and Strike Force”. These people are not army, but they are more deadly than the Army. So, let government release Major Mustapha. He is the only person that knows these hit men among us. On President Goodluck Jonathan? President Goodluck Jonathan is a God-sent leader to Nigeria and Nigerians. I doubt the credibility of those
parading themselves in the corridors of power claiming to be the Presidential aides when actually they have nothing to offer the country to commensurate with President’s transformation agenda. I commend the appointment of Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, and the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as excellent positions made in the right direction as both have the midas touch in their different fields of endeavor. They are the pillars of the nations’ sure road map to human and infrastructural development. I also want to use the opportunity of this interview to condemn the over bloating of the government service through the appointment of unnecessary personnel aides with similar functions, who only siphon, seat and wait for salaries to come at the end of every month. No economy can grow under such environment. There are evidences to show that the country’s name is corruption without anybody coming out ruggedly to fight it. Transparency International has consistently placed Nigeria as one of the notorious countries in the world. Presidential aides on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okukpe, had on the wake of the rating kicked against it, alleging that the body used its previous data on the country for their recent (index) rating. The transparency rating of Nigeria as one of the notorious countries of the world came barely few days before the purported disappearance of about N2.1 billion from the country’s Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). Worse more, are the non-implementation and handling of the Farouk Lawan led fuel subsidy report, the Ndudi Elumelu-led report on power and the Abdulrasheed Maina-led pension scam report among others by the Federal Government are some of the issues that are pre-occupied national discuss in recent times and all of a sudden disappeared to thin air for no justifiable reasons. Irrespective of serious hunger and under development in the land, these people are stealing public money for selfish enrichment. What are your prayers to Federal Government against these people stealing public money? My passionate appeal to President Jonathan is to punish them in accordance to the law of the land. Anyone found to have defrauded this nation one way or the other, no matter the status, must be punished. That will serve as a deterrent to others. Government should not seat like a
Barrister Amobi Nzelu
toothless bulldog and watch the so-called cabals sucking dry the nation’s wealth at the detriment of poor ones in the society. On the purported judicial killings by the police which reports say the Attorney-General of the Federation alleged that over 7,000 victims were executed in Nigeria in 2012? I think this figure they gave is far below what is obtainable in the country on daily basis. Eight years after the Apo Six plus one, there has not been any conviction made. It is a routine in the police. The random killings and carnage in the country occasioned by the advent of Boko Haram insurgency, unless the leaders should try to identify what there is and move head long to remedy it as was done in the issue of militants of the Niger Delta, people will continue to live in perpetual fear in their fatherland. Are you aware that over 90% of Nigerians go to bed without food in their stomach and when they get one, they might not know when the next meal will be coming? I wonder why such people should react adversely to the issues concerning them especially when they see a few others enmeshing the common-wealth meant for everyone in the country. On recent government policies as it affects the citizenry, what is your view? I want to describe the recent demolition exercise carried out by the order of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, at Mpape, a suburb of Abuja as a satanic, evil and unwarranted. Before dispossessing them of their various places of habitat, a cushioning effect is supposed to have
been put in place to ameliorate their sufferings. The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and other agencies of government were recently dragged to court over the illegal demolition and acquisition of land belonging to Kukudagba village for the construction of third runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Kukudagba is a village under Tungan Madaki area of the FCT housing the airport. The sufferings, intimidations and agony the people are undergoing in the hands of the Federal Capital Development Authority FCDA) forced the people to roll out their war drums in a fight to finish battle at least to seek for an undiluted justice in the case of Abdullahi Baba versus the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Minister of the FCT, the FCDA, the Nigerian Airport Authority and the Ministry of Aviation at the High Court of Justice, NyanyaAbuja, over the alleged forceful acquisition of their farmland by the Federal Government and its agencies. Similarly, Dape II village in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) was twice demolished without notice to the indigenes or enumeration of their houses during the 2006 and the one that followed thereafter and up till now nothing had been constructed in most of the areas demolished, except the presence of grasses and reptiles competing for the little space meant for human habitation. I also wish to condemn in its entirety, the recent demolition of some of the housing estates in the city, especially those at the airport road. I wonder where the Development Control Department of the FCDA were when the building were being constructed before coming after its completion for demolition. It is like killing a baby after its embryo stage. FCDA should introduce polices that will not be injurious to the masses. Now, look at the issue on ban of minibuses (Araba) in Abuja and the suffering innocent residents were going through. FCT Minister should not force his unrealistic policies to people, when he has failed to make use of the media to create awareness on such upcoming policies. The Minister, or whosoever, should remember this adage that says “soldier come, soldier go, barracks remain the same. When you move up, remembered the people that you left behind as they were the ones holding the ladder for you.”
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
dispatch special Staple food production decreases in Nigeria; regional prices likely to rise unseasonably A recent assessment by FEWS NET and partners indicates that crop damage from 2012 flooding in Nigeria was more severe than initially reported. As a result, 2012/13 staple food production may be as much as 12 percent lower than November 2012 estimates. Food availability in Nigeria is further limited by an increase in security checkpoints along key trade corridors, restrictions on international imports through the port of Lagos, and rising fuel prices. As the region’s largest staple food producer, Nigeria’s anticipated decline in production is expected to affect both local and regional markets. For example, staple food prices across West Africa are likely to be higher than would have otherwise been anticipated following the above average Sahelian cereal production this year. Emergency assistance needs may be higher than previously anticipated in the region’s structurally deficit zones and in localized areas that experienced production shortfalls, especially during the July September 2013 lean season. FEWS NET, OCHA, WFP, CILSS, and NEMA conducted a joint field assessment in late January 2013 to the Niger, Kebbi, Kano, and Jigawa states of Nigeria. Significant flood related crop losses, infrastructure damage, and atypical trade flows were observed. Cassava, yam, maize, and sorghum losses were particularly high. Remaining tuber harvests are not expected to store well due to decreased quality from excessive soil moisture. Damage to dams and irrigation systems will likely reduce dry season production. Detailed assessment findings will be available later this month in the Nigeria Food Security Outlook. By most estimates, staple food production was average to above average across West Africa during the 2012/13 cropping season. According to AGRYHMET, total cereal and tuber production in the West African Monetary Union (UEMOA) was more than 16 percent above the five year average. Initial production estimates for Nigeria, which produces two thirds to three quarters of West Africa’s local food supply, indicated that production would be 2 percent greater than 2011 levels (a bumper year) and 6 percent greater than the five year average. However, once these figures are adjusted for the flood losses observed in recent weeks, regional market supplies for the rest of the marketing year are likely to be much tighter than previously
Yam is an impotant staple food in Nigeria and West Africa.
A woman peeling cassava processed into variety of foods such as garri, flour, etc.
expected. Despite some uncertainty about Nigeria’s a g r i c u l t u r a l production in 2012/ 13, FEWS NET estimates that the magnitude of the 2012 crop losses nearly offsets the above average 2012 production in the rest of the region (Figure 1). Current market conditions in Nigeria are characterized by a
great deal of uncertainty due to reduced market supplies, marketing restrictions related to insecurity, prohibitively high import tariffs, and fuel price policies that could change drastically in the coming months. Until December 2012, FEWS NET anticipated that cereal prices would remain high compared to their five year average levels but generally follow seasonal trends, increasing moderately by 1 to 4 percent per month through September 2013. However, the current marketing conditions in Nigeria are expected to put upward pressure on staple food prices across West Africa between March and the end of the 2013 lean season in August/September, particularly for maize, millet, and tubers. Exacerbating factors include: increased demand for cereals from populations usually reliant on tubers, growing demand for maize by the Nigerian industrial and poultry sectors (though this demand is not likely to achieve the high levels experienced in 2005); and structurally high millet prices across the region, likely due to significant declines in Nigerian millet production since 2007/08. Markets that rely heavily on cross border trade from Nigeria, such as those in south eastern Niger, may be most affected. Preliminary analysis suggests that these price increases could drive widespread food security Stress (IPC Phase 2) in the region’s structurally deficit zones and localized Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in areas that experienced production shortfalls, especially during the July September 2013 lean season. Wide spread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is not anticipated as better than usual household stocks, favorable cash crop production and marketing conditions, and humanitarian assistance during the post harvest period will partially offset the expected price increases. Even so, emergency assistance needs could be higher than anticipated previously. National governments and humanitarian agencies should plan for this possibility, especially in the region’s structurally deficit pastoral and agro pastoral zones, where households rely heavily on markets as early as March, and in areas where the agricultural production season was less successful. The possibility of much tighter cereal market supplies across the Sahel also suggests that institutions should exercise prudence when purchasing local cereals, particularly for millet and maize in Chad, Benin, Nigeria, and Niger. -IRIN.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
What kills one AFRICAN woman every minute of every single day? By Mama Ye What kills one AFRICAN woman every minute of every single day? A: AIDS B: CANCER NEITHER THE ANSWER IS? C: PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH omewhere in AFRICA one woman dies every minute of every day from causes related to pregnancy and birth. The hardest pill to swallow for even the most successful African nations is this: giving life to the continent’s next generation is one of the biggest killers’ of Africa’s women. More often than not it is preventable: Uncontrolled bleeding, infection, poor medical care and a lack of education still sit at the very heart of this hidden crisis. Those who survive may still suffer. For every woman who dies during childbirth, it is estimated that another 30 are injured or become sick bringing life to the world. Africa’s poorest are the most vulnerable. But women themselves are not the only victims. The children left behind are more likely to die simply because they are motherless. Too many babies also die unnecessarily. In Africa, over a million newborns die each year – that is - nearly four every single minute. If Africa is to advance, MORE needs to be done. SIGNIFICANTLY more. MamaYe ( a public action campaign to save the lives of mothers and babies is being launched in five countries most affected by the crisis of maternal and newborn mortality: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Tanzania. This is the first part of a continent-wide campaign which will use digital and mobile phone technology to engage ordinary Africans in the most important fight of all – the battle to save our mothers and babies. At its core MamaYe will challenge the
Farmers in the Niger Delta have taken court action against Shell after having their livelihoods destroyed by oil spills. © Amnesty International
status quo – the fatalism of millions of Africans, young and old, who accept the deaths of mothers and babies as “natural” or “God’s will.” MamaYe is a campaign to both educate and encourage communities to take collective and individual action for pregnant mothers amongst them. It will seek to overcome the ingrained belief that responsibility for maternal and newborn survival rests elsewhere: with ‘the government’ ‘the ministry’ ‘professionals’ ‘the UN’ or foreign donors. For MamaYe the active participation of Africans as a whole is a critical ingredient. MamaYe believes that technology can educate, motivate and mobilise people to take direct action to respond to the maternal and newborn crisis in Africa. By 2016, it is projected that there will be one billion mobile phones in Africa. 167,335,676 Internet users. 51,612,460 Facebook subscribers. In Ghana, for example, mobile penetration in the country has reached a record 80% of the country’s population. MamaYe has been initiated by Evidence for Action which is funded by the UK Department for I n t e r n a t i o n a l Development, and headed
up in the five countries by African experts. Country Director Ghana Professor Richard Adanu, who is also the Dean of the School of Public Health in Accra, said: “We all have the power and the potential to save the lives of mothers and newborns. “Men who support their wives to visit ante-natal clinics are helping to save lives. Taxi drivers who volunteer to get women to clinics in time for the birth can do the same. Voluntarily giving blood also saves lives, by helping women who haemorrhage during childbirth. “Government officials that ensure clinics are well stocked with drugs and other essentials, are nothing less than life-savers. Midwives that respond to a crisis in the middle of the night are maternal survival heroines. “We can all play our part. Childbirth is not a disease. We have known for decades what it takes to ensure the survival of women and babies in childbirth. But if our mothers are to survive, then the African public must also step up, take responsibility and become more involved and vigilant. “MamaYe will provide the evidence, information and tools necessary to empower our citizens to demand change. All it takes to make the change, is YOU. “ MamaYe is a campaign initiated by Evidence for Action (E4A), a multi-year programme which aims to improve maternal and newborn survival in subSaharan Africa. Funded by the UK Department for International Development, the campaign focuses on using a strategic combination of evidence, advocacy and accountability to save lives in Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. In sub-Saharan Africa, the lifetime risk
of maternal death is 1 in 16, compared with 1 in 2,800 in developed countries. Those who survive may still suffer. For every woman who dies during childbirth, it is estimated that another 30 are injured or become sick bringing life to the world. Every day, 444 women die in subSaharan Africa due to causes relating to pregnancy and childbirth. In Africa, over a million newborns die each year. The newborn mortality rate is 44 deaths per 1000 live births in Africa . According to World Health Organisation,globally, the countries with the highest rates of newborn mortality are mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Anambra 2014: The contenders, prospects, challenges. By Charles Okeke
s the tenure of the incumbent Governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi ends tempo of political activities has risen sharply in the state, as next year candidates who wants to contest have begun to emerge. The list of those who have shown interest in the election cut across the three senatorial zones of Anambra Central, Anambra South and Anambra North. The list also included former governors, old contenders and new entrants. Among the former governors who have been planning strategically to take part in the election are, Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige, a serving senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Dr Andy Uba who is also a serving senator representing the Anambra South Senatorial District. The duo of Senator Ngige and Senator Uba, both of who are not from the Anambra North Senatorial District, which is fighting for power shift to their area, reexpected to give the contest the excitement it deserves, more so, they are veterans when it comes to political socialisation and the battles that follow it. The list of old contenders who are expected to make another attempt in the governorship contest include, Dr Obinna Uzoh, Dr Alex Obiogbolu, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Professor Chukwuma Soludo,Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu, Senator Emma Anosike, Mrs Uche Ekwunife and Senator Annie Okonkwo. These are politicians who have influence and money and many of them have held key political positions at the National and State levels. Mrs Ekwunife is currently a member of the House of Representatives, while Annie Okonkwo is a key member of a political group known as C21, which is involved in the contentious merger that gave birth to the All Progressive Congress, (APC). There are also hordes of new entrants in the governorship contest. These are people who are expected to take part in the election for the first time as gubernatorial candidates. They include, Mr Akachukwu Nwankpo, Chief Ifeanyi Uba, Pat Nwachi Obianwu, Dubem Obaze, Oseloka Obaze, Dr Godwin Ezeemo, Dr Chike Obidigbo, Mr Paul Odenigbo, Chief Mike Udah, Afam Ogene and host of other contenders that will emerge as the election approaches. One of the key strength of the new entrants is that many of them are influential technocrats, politicians and businessmen, who have strong ties with the people in the grassroot. Chief Udah currently serves as the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Peter Obi, just as Oseloka Obaze holds the post of Secretary to the State Government. They will be counting on their experiences and connection during the contest. The Prospects: Having seen the nature of candidates that are likely to contest for the governorship of Anambra State during the coming election, the pertinent question is, what are their prospects and chances of succeeding at the end of the exercise? There is also the key question of, who among them will succeed Obi as governor of Anambra? It is suffice to state
Gov. Peter Obi that the strength of the individual contenders and their chances of winning vary extensively, in view of their backgrounds and the emerging challenges. But one thing is clear, there is no doubt that they have all that are required to sell themselves successfully to the electorates. Dr. Chris Ngige: He was governor of Anambra State under the ticket of PDP for more than three years before he was kicked out by the courts. He later decamped and joined the ACN. In 2011, Dr. Ngige with the ticket of ACN contested for the Anambra Central Senatorial seat and won. Today, he is a serving senator who holds a strong desire to contest for the governorship post again, notwithstanding the fact that the people of Anambra North Senatorial district, comprising Anambra East and West, Ogabru, Oyi, Onitsha North and South and Ayamelum local government areas respectively are saying that it is now their turn to produce the next governor of Anambra State. Dr. Ngige’s strength lies in the fact that he is a veteran warrior in the game of politics and has the backing of South West influential political figures, who are expected to offer him the ticket of the new APC at the end of the day. So far, Dr. Ngige has started courting for support from individuals and groups. At the peak of the flood disaster in the State last year, he was among those who toured the internally displaced peoples camps donating relief materials. Recently, he was in Amansea where he called on the people to lend him their support, especially, as they prepare to launch the APC in Anambra and Awka north areas respectively. Dr. Ngige is expected to make maximum impact in the election if eventually he picks up the APC ticket. Dr Andy Uba: He is equally a veteran politician, very rich and influential. In 2007, he contested for the governorship post and won. However, his desire to govern the State was truncated by the judgement which the Supreme Court delivered in the tenure interpretation suit filed by Governor Peter Obi, and since this development, Senator Uba who represents Anambra South in the Senate has been nursing the ambition of governing Anambra again. Already, his foot soldiers being deployed under the “Igwebuike Philosophy” are now working
everywhere and perfecting plans and consulting key stakeholders on how to market his candidacy. Senator Uba is expected to fight for the PDP ticket alongside other strong candidates as the election approaches. And like Dr Ngige, Senator Uba’s major challenge bothers on how to secure the support of the people of North Senatorial district who are now campaigning for power shift to their area. Prince Nicholas Ukachukwu: He is also a veteran politician, rich and influential. Prince Ukachukwu hails from the South Senatorial district. Since 1999 when the new democracy took off, Ukachukwu has been a recurring figure in the politics of Anambra State. He was a member of the House of Representatives, and from there he came to Awka and contested for the governorship post in 2007 and 2010 on the tickets of ANPP and Hope Democratic Party and lost. Since then he has returned to PDP, where he is expected to fight for a ticket that will enable him to contest for the governorship again. And like Dr Ngige and Senator Uba, Prince Ukachukwu will be facing the challenge of how to confront the expectations of the people of Anambra north, in view of the fact that they have arrays of candidates jostling for the top post. Professor Chukwuma Soludo: He hails from the South Senatorial district. Professor Soludo who is extremely rich is a technocrat and intellectual who joined the murky waters of Anambra politics in 2010 as the gubernatorial candidate of PDP, and that was after his tenure as CBN governor. At the end of the election, which he lost, Soludo was initially confronted with the struggle for the control of Anambra State chapter of PDP, has since been living in Abuja, from where he makes occasional forays into Awka. Dr Alex Obiogbolu: He is a medical doctor by profession and hails from Onitsha, Anambra North senatorial district.Since 1999, Dr Obiogbolu has been a key chieftain of PDP, however, in 2010 he decamped and became the gubernatorial candidate of African Political System, APS, in the election held in February that year. And, after losing the election, Dr Obiogbolu rejoined the PDP where he is now nurturing his ambition to govern Anambra State. Already, Dr Obiogbolu whose campaign is anchored on the philosophy of “Oganiru Anambra” has publicly declared his interest in the race at a ceremony held in Aguleri. He is a grassroots politician, and those close to him said that his major weakness is that he is a lone ranger and rigid in his views and position on issues, the attributes many contends may work against him in the course of the anticipated election. Obiogbolu’s greatest strength is the fact that he is from a zone clamouring to have the post zoned to them as a right. Mr Ifeanyi Ubah: He hails from the South senatorial district, which has produced governors several times. This young and energetic oil mogul started to show interest in the governorship post from 2011 when his company, Capital Oil and Gas Limited began distributing free kerosene and rice to people. His ambition was going well
until he fell in to the oil subsidy and bank crises, However, notwithstanding his current travails in the hands of creditor banks, his posters were recently found adorning strategic places in Awka and other key cities. And before his travails started, Ifeanyi Uba was gunning for the ticket of APGA apparently with the support of Chief Victor Umeh, the embattled National Chairman of APGA. However, with what he is going through now, it is likely that his political ambition has been considerably hampered. Oseloka Obaze: He is an indigene of Ogbaru, Anambra North senatorial district, and a technocrat who was brought by Obi to rejuvenate governance using his position of Secretary to the State Government. And, unlike his fellow contenders in APGA, the strongest asset he possesses is that he is a very strong confidant of Governor Obi, and is therefore likey to receive Obi’s endorsement if eventually he decides to contest. Mike Udah: He is a veteran politician and journalist. Chief Udah who hails from Umueri, Anambra East local government area, is now governor Obi’s Chief Press Secretary. He was once a deputy governorship candidate. And being an indigene of Anambra North, Chief Udah who is a key contender, is likely to benefit from the zoning arrangement if eventually those who are marketing the equitable concept succeeds in their project. Dubem Obaze: He was a former kitchen cabinet member of the Obi’s government having held the powerful position of Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters. A relation of Oseloka Obaze, Dubem who hails from Anambra north, the zone that is favoured for the governorship seat of the state, is rich and strategic in his behaviour and thoughts. Most commentators have argued that he resigned from his powerful commissioner position to enable him prosecute his gubernatorial ambition without any hindrance. His strength also lies in the fact that he is among the aspirants who have the confidence and support of Governor Obi. The Challenges ahead: Although many of the aspirants have all that are required to win the tickets of their parties and eventually put up a strong challenge during the election, it should be noted that they still need to contend with the challenges emanating from the dynamics of political changes being witnessed now at the National and states levels, especially with the merger of ACN, CPC, ANPP and a section of APGA in to what is now known as APC. This is a development which is capable of completely changing all the plans and strategies of the aspiring governorship candidates. It is certain that in the days ahead, the contenders are bound to face the challenges of alignment and realignment of forces and change of camps, as the implications of the merger unfolds, and it is after these emerging challenges have been curtailed that one would finally position himself as a candidate for the gubernatorial election to be held in Anambra later this year
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
City, Crime & Justice
Street begging, lucrative business hit by economic down turn Street begging has become a menace that all sectors are up against but efforts are yet to fully pay off as it is said to be lucrative. UDE EJIKEMKE reports
n Nigeria, much is known and said about child begging. Although no fruition is yet recorded, Nigerian government has been putting up strategies to see that the menace is curbed as it sees it as a social problem mostly because of the decadent life styles that heir lives usually degenerate into in the long run. But nobody is saying anything about the millions of Nigerian adults on the streets begging for alms alongside the children. It is axiomatic that the dastardly economic conditions of the country have left a big percentage of its people in poverty. Some of those improvised people, especially those from the northern parts of Nigeria and our others from Niger, Chad, Mali, among others, have over the years embraced street begging just to eke out a living. It started out with the people who were physically challenged, but has now become an all comers – business as people without any form of physically challenge now practice it. The effusive multiplication of adult-beggars with no any form of deformity but that of the mind on the street, especially in northern Nigerian states like Kano, Gombe, Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi and Abuja, is a pointer that street begging has been lucrative over the years. A big time beggar, who gave his name as Musa Mailafia and lives in Garki village, told reporters dispatch that begging is a lucrative venture because it was through it that he was able to save some money which he used in building his own house. The octogenarian beggar said he left begging after building his own house just to pave way for other beggars because the house he built had uplifted his social status and he could not continue begging when he had tenants who pay him a meaty amount of
money that can sustain him and his twelve children annually. Mailafia said he had travelled to Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Onitsha and Minna just to beg for alms and was sending the proceeds of what he was making to Garki village for the building of his house.
Another beggar, Usman Danjuma, a Septuagenarian that not physically challenged, but who used old age as a reason for begging, complained to reporters dispatch at Utako market bus stop (Arab) that his business has not been lucrative since 2008. Danjuma, who said he has three wives and thirteen children, came to Abuja in year 2000 mainly for begging. He said three of his children are learning tailoring in Gombe while four are currently studying at Federal College of Education, Zaria, and he uses the money he makes from begging to pay their school fees. According to him, he used to get not less than ten thousand naira from begging weekly but since 2009, things have changed as he rarely get a N1,500 in a whole week of intensive begging. “My name is Usman Danjuma, I am
from a village in Gombe state. I came to Abuja in year 2000 to start begging business when my family became very plagued by poverty after my house was destroyed by fire incident. In 2002, the money I was able to save from begging was able to buy a fairly used Golf car for transportation business. The money realized from its daily was used in feeding my family. Some of my children are even now in school in Zaria, while three others are learning tailoring in Gombe. “But I am afraid, things would definitely change with my family soon because I can no longer send to them what I used to, because I don’t get as much as I used to get anymore’, he said. He attributed the crunch in his income to the security challenges which is currently prevalent in the country. “Since the case of bombing by Boko Haram began, rich men that normally stop by our joints to give us big money don’t do it anymore. Maybe they are thinking that we are going to bomb them, and we are harmless. In those days, especially on Fridays, when rich men and top government officials come to Mosque to pray, they will at times, personally share big money to us and things were quite good then, but since the issue of Boko Harma started, we hardly see such people again, and life in begging has been hard,” Danjuma opined. To Hajia Amina, a middle-aged leprosy beggar that lives in Mabushi, begging is no longer lucrative because the economic condition in the country is worsening every year to a point where members of the public no longer have enough for themselves let alone giving alms to the beggars. She also believes that the high population of beggars these days in Abuja is making it unattractive. “People of Nigeria are getting hit by poverty every year, to that end, people who ought to dole out alms to beggars no longer have enough for themselves let alone sharing it with beggars. “In the days that I started begging, we were so few in the society, and people had great pity on us, respecting us that it must have been a bad condition that must have pushed us into begging, and they would give us a lot of alms. Today, begging is overpopulated and the little alms that members of the public can afford cannot go round”, Amina said.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Living & Style
Important keys to success -Work hard at something you believe in “It’s easy to have an idea. But it’s another thing to commit time and effort to it,” writes millionaire salesman and motivational speaker Terry Felber. “There are a lot of great ideas and if we allow the negative influences of others to stop us, then we will never accomplish anything. The truth is, most people are always ‘waiting to begin,’ but few ever actually get on the pathway to success.” Felber is an Amway “Founders Executive Diamond” who over the last three decades built a sales organization of more than 50,000 people.
- A man must do whatever he can to provide for his family:
elber continues: God compares a man who does not provide for his family with someone who has denied the faith. He considers him worse than an unbeliever. You must be able to take care of her before you marry her. And once you are married, you must do whatever it takes to provide for her. we are not unmindful of the present economic situation in the world. If the man is out of work and the woman has
a job it could be tiring for her and frustrating for a good man.What should a man do in such circumstances?Steal, become moody? No. The man can provide the most important thing the family needs nowEMOTIONAL BACK-UP. Show more love,go the extra mile, provide emotional well being. This is the most important provision a family needs.
- Financial prosperity is often connected to soul prosperity
od says it this way, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ That means that if you are delighting in Him, seeking after Him and honoring Him, His desires will naturally become your desires. Yes,
-See challenges as stepping stones, not as obstacles Things will go wrong and when they do, you can use this opportunity to strengthen your business, if you decide to. Be prepared for worst case scenarios and then when they come, take it as a positive challenge to make an improvement.
God wants you to have everything your heart desires as long as you are focused first on Him. Remember, though, that God measures our hearts and knows our motives. We must love Him for who He is, not for what He can give us.”
- Be meek before God, but bold before men
o matter the religion you profess God wants us to be kind. But He has designed you the way He has for a reason. God
wants you to live to please Him, more than to please people. You should focus on being meek before God, but bold before men.
- Don’t displace the blame
ake responsibility for problems that are the result of your own bad decisions. We sometimes credit circumstances to God or the enemy, when really it is simple cause and effect.
If you have made mistakes in life ,own up and seek ways to make amends. Be humble enough to apologise to family and friends who may be hurting due to your bad decisions.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Healing Quotes for Your Heart W hat is it about a short quotation that carries so much power? Anyone who has ever been moved by “I have a dream” or “I think, therefore I am” knows that a single, simple quote can change a day, a life, a world. For those who suffer from depression, words of uplift and inspiration are always welcome. Explore these quotations and see if a few simple words might change your day, your life, or your world.
inspirational dispatch Make Humor an Asset “Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.” - Greenville Kleisser
Begin Each Day Anew “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly
set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.” Saint Francis de Sales
Change Your Thoughts “What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment. If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you think.” Dr. Patrick Gentempo
A Treasured Pearl “A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear [that results] from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.” - Stephan Hoeller
Find Your Joy “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” - Thich Nhat Hanh
The Power of a Touch “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Revealed: Local Fruit that kills cancer
“10000 times stronger killer of CANCER than Chemo”.. do share it.. can save many lives, fill up hopes and build confidence in the patients...
he Sour Sop or the fruit from the graviola tree is a miraculous natural cancer cell killer 10,000 times stronger than Chemo. Why are we not aware of this? Its because some big corporation want to make back their money spent on years of research by trying to make a synthetic version of it for sale. So, since you know it now you can help a friend in need by letting him know or just drink some sour sop juice yourself as prevention from time to time. The taste is not bad after all. It’s completely natural and definitely has no side effects. If you have the space, plant one in your garden. The other parts of the tree are also useful. The next time you have a fruit juice, ask for a sour sop. How many people died in vain while this billion-dollar drug maker concealed the secret of the miraculous Graviola tree? This tree is low and is called graviola ! in Brazi l, guanabana in Spanish and has the uninspiring name “soursop” in English. The fruit is very large and the subacid sweet white pulp is eaten out of hand or, more commonly, used to make fruit drinks, sherbets and such. The principal interest in this plant is because of its strong anticancer effects. Although it is effective for a number of medical conditions, it is its anti tumor effect that is of most interest. This plant is a proven cancer remedy for cancers of all types. Besides being a cancer remedy, graviola is a broad spectrum antimicrobial agent for both bacterial and fungal infections, is effective against internal parasites and worms, lowers high blood pressure and is used for depression, stress and nervous disorders. If there ever was a single example that makes it dramatically clear why the existence of Health Sciences Institute is so vital to Americans like you, it’s the incredible story behind the Graviola tree. The truth is stunningly simple: Deep within the Amazon Rainforest grows a tree that could literally revolutionize what you, your doctor, and the rest of the world thinks about cancer treatment and chances of survival. The future has never looked more promising. Research shows that with extracts from this miraculous tree it now may be possible to: * Attack cancer safely and effectively with an all-natural
research team whose conscience wouldn’t let him see such atrocity committed. Risking his career, he contacted a company that’s dedicated to harvesting medical plants from the Amazon Rainforest and blew the whistle. Miracle unleashed When researchers at the Health Sciences Institute were alerted to the news of Graviola,! they be gan tracking the research done on the cancer-killing tree. Evidence of the astounding effectiveness of Graviola–and its shocking cover-up–came in fast and furious…. ….The National Cancer Institute performed the first therapy that does not cause extreme nausea, weight loss and hair loss * Protect your immune system and avoid deadly infections * Feel stronger and healthier throughout the course of the treatment * Boost your energy and improve your outlook on life The source of this information is just as stunning: It comes from one of America ‘s largest drug manufacturers, th! e fruit of over 20 laboratory tests conducted since the 1970’s! What those tests revealed was nothing short of mind numbing… Extracts from the tree were shown to: * Effectively target and kill malignant cells in 12 types of cancer, including colon, breast, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer.. * The tree compounds proved to be up to 10,000 times stronger in slowing the growth of cancer cells than Adriamycin, a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug! * What’s more, unlike chemotherapy, the compound extracted from the Graviola tree selectivelyhunts down and kills only cancer cells.. It does not harm healthy cells! The amazing anti-cancer properties of the Graviola tree have been extensively researched–so why haven’t you heard anything about it? If Graviola extract is One of America ‘s biggest billion-dollar drug makers began a search for a cancer cure and their research centered on Graviola, a legendary healing tree from the Amazon Rainforest.
Various parts of the Graviola tree–including the bark, leaves, roots, fruit and fruit-seeds–have been used for centuries by medicine men and native Indi! ans in S outh America to treat heart disease, asthma, liver problems and arthritis. Going on very little documented scientific evidence, the company poured money and resources into testing the tree’s anti-cancerous properties–and were shocked by the results. Graviola proved itself to be a cancer-killing dynamo. But that’s where the Graviola story nearly ended. The company had one huge problem with the Graviola tree– it’s completely natural, and so, under federal law, not patentable. There’s no way to make serious profits from it. It turns out the drug company invested nearly seven years trying to synthesize two of the Graviola tree’s most powerful anticancer ingredients. If they could isolate and produce man-made clones of what makes the Graviola so potent, they’d be able to patent it and make their money back. Alas, they hit a brick wall. The original simply could not be replicated. There was no way the company could protect its profits– or even make back the millions it poured into research. As the dream of huge profits evaporated, their testing on Graviola came to a screeching halt. Even worse, the company shelved the entire project and chose not to publish the findings of its research! Luckily, however, there was one scientist from the Graviola
scientific research in 1976. The results showed that Graviola’s “leaves and stems were found effective in attacking and destroying malignant cells.” Inexplicably, the results were published in an internal report and never released to the public… ….Since 1976, Graviola has proven to be an immensely potent cancer killer in 20 independent laboratory tests, yet no doubleblind clinical trials–the typical benchmark mainstream doctors and journals use to judge a treatment’s value–were ever initiated…. ….A study published in the Journal of Natural Products, following a recent study conducted at Catholic University of South Korea stated that one chemical in Graviola was found to selectively kill colon cancer cells at “10,000 times the potency of (the commonly used chemotherapy drug) Adriamycin…” ….The most significant part of the Catholic University of South Korea report is that Graviola was shown to selectively target the cancer cells, leaving healthy cells untouched. Unlike chemotherapy, which indiscriminately targets all actively reproducing cells (such as stomach and hair cells), causing the often devastating side effects of nausea and hair loss in cancer patients. …A study at Purdue University recently found that leaves from the Graviola tree killed cancer cells among six human cell lines and were especially effective against prostate, pancreatic and lung cancers Seven years of silence broken–it’s finally here!!! Courtesy - General Knowledge.
Doctor advises women on starting family early
Gynaecologist with the Garki Hospital, Abuja, Dr Kayode Obendek, has advised women to start childbearing early enough to avoid the chances of reduction in the quality of eggs in their wombs. Obendek told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday that early child-bearing would also address the issue of infertility. He explained that some women jettisoned having children early in preference to the pursuit of education, career and fulfilled life thereby starting their family late. “This is why you will see a woman coming at the age of 39 to seek for doctor’s assistance to raise a family. As she grows, her eggs continue to reduce with implication on her chances of having children,” he said. He called on people with infertility issues to seek for medical help, pointing out that there were many causes of infertility that could be resolved by medical doctors. “You cannot say take this drug to induce ovulation as there are so many drugs in town, the tubes may be blocked and the husband may be having low sperm count. He, however, said that one should first of all identify the problems by going for screening and also to seek for medical solutions. “Delayed child-bearing, which has increased greatly in recent decades, is associated with an increased risk of infertility, pregnancy complications and adverse pregnancy outcome.“ He said that women should put their age into consideration as maternal age was the most important determinant factor of fertility and obstetrics among others. Obendek, however, advised couples to seek for counseling and professional help as they started their family to avoid delay
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Science & Environment Cosmic ray mystery lifted in new findings By Jean-Louis Santini
osmic rays — fast-moving particles that constantly pummel our planet — come from the explosion of supernovae, new research confirmed Thursday, resolving an astronomical mystery. Protons make up 90 percent of these rays that pelt Earth’s atmosphere and were discovered a century ago by the Austrian-born physicist Victor Franz Hess. Scientists had suggested two possibilities for the origins of these protons — supernovae explosions within our Milky
Way galaxy or strong jets of energy from black holes elsewhere in the universe. The recent consensus among scientists has pointed to supernovae remnants as the source, but this remained unproven, said Stefan Funk, astrophysicist at Stanford University and a co-author of the new findings. The report was presented at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston and will also appear in Friday’s issue of the journal Science. “In the last century we’ve learned a lot about cosmic rays as they arrive here,” Funk said
in a statement announcing the findings. “We’ve even had strong suspicions about the source of their acceleration, but we haven’t had unambiguous evidence to back them up until recently.” Using NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, researchers over the course of four years analyzed data from two supernova remnants thousands of light years away and found the proof they were looking for. “For the first time we were able to detect the smoking gun feature of the accelerated protons,” Funk told reporters. “We are talking about the
most gigantic explosions in our galaxy and they give energy to the tiniest things we know.” The supernova remnants that led to the discovery are known as IC 443 and W44 and are located 5,000 and 9,500 light years away, according to NASA. The researchers found that shock waves from the supernovas accelerated protons to nearly the speed of light, turning them into cosmic rays, said the statement. “When these energetic protons collided with static protons in gas or dust they gave rise to gamma rays with distinctive signatures, giving
scientists the smoking-gun evidence they needed to finally verify the cosmic-ray nurseries,” it said. Still, as man spends more time in the higher atmosphere, questions remain. “While we have demonstrated that supernova remnants accelerate cosmic rays, the next step will be to determine exactly how they do it, and also up to what energies they can do so,” Funk said. In addition, he noted “there are suggestions that cosmic rays have provided early mutations that make life possible” and provide condensation droplets that create clouds.
Scientists sense breakthroughs in dark-matter mystery
or decades, the strange substance called dark matter has teased physicists, challenging conventional notions of the cosmos. Today, though, scientists believe that with the help of multi-billion-dollar tools, they are closer than ever to piercing the mystery — and the first clues may be unveiled just weeks from now. “We are so excited because we believe we are on the threshold of a major discovery,” said Michael Turner, director of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at the University of Chicago, at an annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dark matter throws down the gauntlet to the so-called Standard Model of physics. Elegant and useful for identifying the stable of particles and forces that regulate our daily life, the Standard Model only tells part of the cosmic story. For one thing, it does not explain gravity, although we know how to measure gravity and exploit it for our needs. And the Standard Model has been found to account for only around four or five percent of the stuff in the Universe. The rest is dark matter, making up 23 percent, and
dark energy, an enigmatic force that appears to drive the expansion of the Universe, which accounts for around 72 or 73 percent. “On the cosmology side we now understand that this mysterious dark matter holds together our galaxy and the rest of the Universe,” said Turner. “And the tantalizing thing on the cosmology side is that we have an airtight case that the dark matter is made of something new... there is no particle in the Standard Model that can account for dark matter.” The dark matter theory was born 80 years ago when Swiss astrophysicist Fritz
Zwicky discovered that there was not enough mass in observable stars or galaxies to allow the force of gravity to hold them together. According to some theorists, dark matter is fleetingly formed by exotic particles called WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) that, as their name implies, have only weak interactions with the visible matter identified under the Standard Model. But, again, this could only be part of the picture. “The real question is why dark matter has six times the energy that is in ordinary matter,” said Lisa Randall of Harvard University.
“It could be 10 trillions times bigger... This is an intriguing sign that there is maybe some other interaction we can detect.” H i g h - p o w e r e d instruments track cosmic particles To track these phantom particles, physicists rely on several methods and tools. One is the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aboard the International Space Station (ISS), which captures gamma rays coming from collisions of dark matter particles. The first results will be published in two to three weeks, according to Samuel Ting, a Nobel laureate and
professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who is the mastermind of the two-billiondollar project. Ting declined to give details, only suggesting that these highly anticipated results would give humans a better idea about the nature of dark matter. Another tool used by the scientists is the South Pole Neutrino Observatory, which tracks subatomic particles known as neutrinos, which, according to physicists, are created when dark matter passes through the Sun and interacts with protons. Another big weapon is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, the biggest particle smasher in the world. Its power, they insist, could allow them to break-up electrons, quarks or neutrinos to uncover dark matter. Last July, LHC physicists announced they had discovered a particle believed to be the Higgs boson, which confers mass. The Higgs was the key missing piece in the Standard Model. “The dark matter particles are very heavy. It is one of the reasons we have made the LHC, not only to look for the Higgs boson,” said Maria Spiropulu, professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Gists, Events, Parties, Entertainment, Tourism and Relationship
Taraba People Being Deceived over Nigerian movie debuts Suntai's Health- Senator Al-Hassan in U.S. theatres Feb.
enator Jummai AlHassan of Taraba North senatorial district of Taraba state has accused functionaries of Taraba state government of shielding the truth concerning the state of health of the Governor of the State, Danbaba Suntai, who is undergoing medical treatment in Germany following an air crash. She told newsmen in Abuja that the state government officials have failed to come out
Gov. Danbaba Suntai
with a true picture of the state of health of the governor. She said the state government officials were rather content with feeding the people of the state with tissues of lies. Senator Jumai said even though the people were praying for the recovery of the governor to enable him to resume his duties, they were tired of hearing the never-ending messages that he was doing well and would soon return.
Woman wants ex-husband to accept responsibility for her pregnancy one year after divorce A 23-year-old woman, Hadiza Aliyu, on Monday asked an Abuja Area Court to compel her ex-husband to accept responsibility for her pregnancy, one year after he divorced her. Aliyu, who resides at IdoSarki Village, Lugbe, Abuja, also accused her exhusband, Ibrahim Leleyi of Leleyi Village, Lugbe, Abuja, of neglect and lack of care for their 3-year-old son since their divorce. She told the court that she had been married to her husband for five years until February 2012 when he just woke up one day and asked her to leave his house. The plaintiff told the court that she was shocked, and decided to report the issue to the village head, who invited her ex-husband for a meeting to resolve the issue, to no avail. She said she had no option than to leave for her parents’ house, adding that her parents invited her exhusband for a meeting with a view to resolving the matter. Aliyu said following her parents’ intervention, her ex-husband reluctantly took her back, only to send her packing again 15 days later. The plaintiff said she returned to her parents’ house again with her only son, saying that Leleyi had again failed to take responsibility for her son’s upkeep. Aliyu, however, said she went to her ex-husband’s house three months after to console him when he lost a relation as tradition demands and stayed there for three weeks only for her to discover that she had taken in for him. In his defence, Leleyi said that he divorced his former wife since February, 2012 and never had any
matrimonial relationship with her to date. “In February, 2012, we had a problem and she left my house for her parents’ house; the problem was resolved later and she came back to my house, only to depart again 15 days later. “A few months after, she sent me a message that my 3-year-old son who lives with her took ill and I sent her some money to take him
to the hospital. “While in the hospital, she said she did a pregnancy test on a doctor’s advice and it turned out positive and she told me that I was responsible, but I disclaimed the pregnancy,’’ Leleyi said.= The Judge, Haruna Masanawa, after hearing both sides, adjourned the case to March 4, for judgment.
NDLEA nabs octogenarian drug peddler in Osun
he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested an 80year-old drug peddler at Iba in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun. The state Commander of the NDLEA, Ms Anthonia Edeh, told newsmen in Osogbo on Monday that the agency also arrested two Indian hemp smokers. Edeh said that the 80year-old man, who is a grandfather had been engaged in the hemp
peddling business for more than 50 years. She said that he was caught with 7.4 kilogrammes of the illicit weed on Jan. 20. “The two men, were caught in the old man’s abode at Ile-Ojomu compound, Iba, where they were smoking hemp. “It is a pity that such an old papa, who should be a campaigner against criminal and other vices, was caught peddling drugs,” she said.
Nollywood movie titled ‘Dr Bello’ will be making history as the first Nigerian movie to debut in the U.S. theatres on Feb. 22, its producer, Mr Tony Abulu, has said. Abulu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the movie would be released in the U.S. theatres from Feb. 22 to Feb. 27. He said the movie, worth N150 million, would explore the foreign exchange potentials that abound in the U.S. film industry. The development, according to Abulu, will also create a platform for other Nigerian movies to sell in the U.S. market. “This is the second largest theatre chain in America with over 5000 screens and this portends great opportunity for Nigeria, because apart from “Dr Bello” other movies can come through this same agreement. “The only catch is that they have to be very well
New James Bond novel out in September
new James Bond novel, written by British novelist William Boyd, will be released on September 26, publishers Jonathan Cape announced Monday. The book, as yet untitled, is set in 1969 and features a 45-yearold Bond. “1969. A veteran secret agent. A single mission. A licence to kill. James Bond returns,” readers are promised. The glamorous British spy’s creator Ian Fleming died in 1964 after writing 14 novels
in the Bond series, but other authors have since kept the saga alive and the franchise has now sold more than 100 million books. The latest two novels were “Devil May Care” (2008) by Sebastian Faulks and Jeffery Deaver’s “Carte Blanche” in 2011. This year marks 60 years since Fleming’s first Bond novel, “Casino Royale”, was published in 1953. The announcement of the new book’s release date comes on the same
day that “Skyfall” — the 23rd official Bond film, starring Daniel Craig — is released on DVD in Britain. “Skyfall” is the first film ever to take £100 million ($155 million, 115 million euros) at the British box office. Globally, last year’s Bond movie has taken more than $1 billion. Boyd used Fleming as a character in his book “Any Human Heart” and has also worked with Bond actors Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan and Craig.
produced and they have to be targeted to an American audience, not all the Nigerian movies can do it; there will be a select group of Nigerian movies that can come through that channel. “But I think, as time goes on, we can begin to see the millions of dollars of foreign exchange revenue that we have been hoping for from a place like the U.S.’’ Abulu praised the performance of the Nigerian film industry in projecting the image of the country overseas, adding that the quality of movies currently produced in the country were encouraging. “The kind of movies we are making now are the quality of movies that I believe can have the capabilities to disclaim in the US theatres, but one of the prerequisite is that Americans would normally like to see one or two of their own actors in the movies. “So we have very good film makers in Nigeria and I can account for at least about 25 of them that I think have the capacity and capability to make such films. ’’ The producer said that the production of the film was supported by Federal Government’s $200 million intervention fund, adding that an endowment fund was still needed to boost activities of the entertainment industry. According to him, the AMC agreed to expand the film to a wider release if there was a strong performance during the critical make-or-break first week of its release. Abulu, who is also the writer and director of “Dr
Bello’’, said that the release of the move in U.S. would strengthen the Nigerian film industry. He said that it would provide better opportunities for professionals in the industry as well as enable films get more elaborate in terms of their scope. “Once the revenue begins to increase of the films, everybody benefits. “The industry gets stronger because there is more funding in the industry, producers now can spend more money in making movies. “Instead of making movies at an average of N5 million, now you are making movies at an average of N40 million. “That means locations are paid for, actors and the entire crew are paid more for their work and they can bring in a lot more actors in the movies and the movies can get more elaborate in terms of their scope. “So by extension, a lot of people will benefit just by distributing the Nollywood movies in the U.S. market.’’ “The cure for cancer has been found in the sky mountains of Africa and an American oncologist will risk everything to find it.’’ The movie, ‘Dr Bello’, will be starring Isaiah Washington, Vivica Fox, Jimmy JeanLuis and Nigerian superstars Genevieve Nnaji and Stephanie Okereke. The film will open at AMC theatres in New York, New Jersey Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, Miami and Jacksonville. Others are Columbus, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.
reporters dispatch, February 19 — 26, 2013
Sports Shanghai take Drogba row to FIFA: reports
hinese club S h a n g h a i Shenhua will take its battle against star striker Didier Drogba’s move to Turkish side Galatasaray to football’s governing body FIFA this week, domestic reports said Monday. The Ivory Coast striker left the club in a c r i m o n i o u s circumstances last month, with Shanghai saying he had breached his contract. “We now have evidence which we believe will give Shenhua a 99 per cent chance of winning a lawsuit at FIFA,” a lawyer acting for the club told the Sina web portal. The anonymous source from “Shenhua’s
legal team” said papers would be submitted to the sport’s governing body on Wednesday. The report said Shenhua will provide evidence that Drogba breached his contract and that Galatasaray had violated FIFA rules by luring a player away from his current club. Shenhua declined to comment when contacted by AFP. Chinese media previously reported Drogba had asked FIFA to nullify his contract after the club defaulted on payments following a shareholder dispute dating back to September. Drogba came off the bench to score five minutes into his Galatasaray debut on Friday, a 2-1 victory
over the Turkish league’s bottom club Akhisar. The striker signed an 18-month, 10 million euro ($13.5 million) deal with the Istanbul side, who are due to play German side Schalke 04 on Wednesday in the last 16 of the Champions League. Drogba — a Champions League winner with English Premier League side Chelsea last season — had signed a two-and-ahalf year deal with Shanghai in June last year on a reported salary of $300,000 a week. Drogba’s exit from Shanghai followed that of former Chelsea teammate French striker Nicolas Anelka, who joined Italian giants Juventus on loan.
Defeated Serena targets Dubai recovery
erena Williams hopes to shrug off the disappointment of her Qatar Open final defeat by celebrating her return to the world number one spot after more than two-and-a-half years with victory in the Dubai Open. The 31-year-old American’s performances have belied her status as the oldest number one in the history of the women’s game, as she came from the edge of defeat to survive against Petra Kvitova and depose Victoria Azarenka from the pinnacle. Williams, who lost to Azarenka in Sunday’s Qatar final, could now face both again over the next few days. The 15-times Grand Slam title winner is seeded to meet Azarenka in the final for the second time in seven days and the Dubai draw offers the likelihood of another meeting with Kvitova, the former Wimbledon champion from the Czech Republic, who led 4-1 in the final set of their quarter-final in Doha on Friday. If Williams’ recent achievements seem remarkable, after the pulmonary embolism which almost ended her career, and the persistent back and ankle injuries which harmed her chances at the Australian Open, they apparently do
to Williams herself. She revealed on Saturday that “I never thought I would be playing at 31, although I don’t feel 31. I don’t know where the time went. “I never, never, never thought I would still be out here, but I have nothing else to do,” she admitted. “I’m pretty good at tennis still, so why not?
I’d just rather I didn’t sit at home all day.” Even if Williams really does have little else to do she still showed great commitment to her profession with her physical recovery and competitive intensity on Saturday as she overwhelmed Maria Sharapova in the Doha semi-finals. Even though
Sharapova is absent from Dubai, the draw looks harder from the start for Williams, as she should face Marion Bartoli, the former Wimbledon finalist from France whose entry arrived late and instead enters as a wild card. If Williams is to have a semi-final rematch with Kvitova, the sixthseeded Czech would
Serena Williams saviours her victory at Wimbledon, 2009.
probably have to get past Agnieszka Radwanska, the world number four from Poland who is the titleholder. And if Williams’ rematch with Azarenka is to happen, the Australian Open champion might have to survive an opener with Nadia Petrova, the in-form top 20 Russian, and a quarter-final with either Angelique Kerber, the fourth-seeded German, or Samantha Stosur, the former US Open champion from Australia. This is well within Azarenka’s capacity, having started 2013 in the best form of her career. She was not upset at losing the number one ranking to Williams. “That’s so out of my hands,” she said. “I have been playing really well, so why should I be frustrated? A ranking is a ranking. It is just how it turns out.” Azarenka, who beat Williams only for the second time in 13 meetings, was also comfortable with paying a fulsome tribute to her American rival. “She really changed the women’s game, really lifted up the level,” the 23year-old Belarussian said. “She’s a legend. I don’t know where I’m going to be at 31. Hopefully not playing tennis, but it’s definitely an incredible achievement.”
Rangers to lose four players to Flying Eagles
he Enugu side will have to miss four of their players as they have travelled with the National team to Egypt and Tunisia With just three weeks to the start of the new season, Rangers will lose four of their key players to the Flying Eagles who travelled to Egypt for friendly matches Monday morning in continuation of their preparation for the African Youth Championship in Algeria. The players are Alhaji Gero, Emmanuel Daniel, Seun Taro and Nzube Anazemba. The Flying Eagles are drawn against Mali, RD Congo and Gabon. The players were in the team that would have played against SC Do Principe in the preliminaries of the Champions League. But the team from Sao Tome failed to show up in Enugu and they were walked over. When they realised the match would not hold, the four players moved to Abuja where they joined up with the rest of the Flying Eagles who travelled to Egypt this morning for two friendly matches before they proceed to Tunisia. Alhaji Gero told Goal.com in Enugu that it is going to be a long preparation for the African Youth Championship. “Four of us are going to Egypt. After the two friendly matches, we will proceed to Tunisia for another round tour before we finally move to Algeria for the African Youth Championship. “If the four of us make the trip to Algeria, then it means our club will miss us for a long time. If we secure one of the tickets in Algeria, we will travel to Tuolon in France for more training tours before we land in Turkey for the World Cup proper. “You can see that we have a long journey and they may not see us until after the World Cup in Turkey if all of us make the trip. “I am very sure they can cope without us because we have a lot of good players in the team,” the former Kaduna United striker said. Officials of Rangers revealed that they cannot stop the players from representing Nigeria. The African Youth Championship starts on March 16th.
AD VER T ADVER VERT SP ACE SPA February 19 — 26, 2013
Vol. 1. No. 13.
Nigeria’s first free newspaper
Fuel subsidy saga: Court awards Ifeanyi Uba Ansaru: N10m damages for unlawful detention by police New threat
...grant perpetual injunction restraining police
Federal High Court, Lagos on Monday awarded N10 million damages to Dr Ifeanyi Uba, Managing Director, Capital Oil and Gas Ltd., in a suit against the Inspector General of Police (IGP). Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke also granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the police, either acting by themselves or their privies, from harassing, detaining or infringing on the fundamental rights of the applicant. Ubah had filed the suit on Jan. 10 through his counsel, Mr Ajibola Oluyede, against the I-G and three others for alleged infringement on his fundamental human rights. Joined in the suit are: the Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Mr Ayotunde Ogunsakin; the Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Aigboje AigImoukhuede and the Managing Director, Coscharis Motors, Mr Cosmas Maduka. Ubah had filed the application seeking an order to set aside an interim report issued by the Commissioner of Police, SFU, dated Nov. 2, 2012. The applicant in his originating motion said that the interim report that indicted him of money laundering and criminal conspiracy was a prosecutorial misconduct. He also affirmed that another report by the SFU dated Nov. 3, 2012, in which a case of stealing and economic sabotage was levelled against him, amounted to a breach of his fundamental right. Ubah had also sought a declaration by the court that the complaint by the Presidential Committee on Verification of Oil Subsidy Payment to oil marketers was tainted by malice. The applicant had asked for N10 billion compensatory
Dr Ifeanyi Uba damages from all respondents, jointly and severally, for the injury suffered as a result of his detention for 10 days at the SFU office at Ikoyi, Lagos. At the last adjourned date, Mr Godwin Obla, counsel to the I-G, had raised a preliminary objection to the application, contending that Uba could not prevent the police from discharging their statutory duties. Obla also contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter since judgment had been given against the applicant in a similar suit heard by another judge of the Federal High Court. He, therefore, argued that the applicant should be stopped from bringing the application for the enforcement of his fundamental rights. According to him, the application constituted an abuse of court process. Counsel to Access Bank, Mr Paul Usoro, had also raised a preliminary objection to the suit, alleging lack of service of court processes on Access Bank. Usoro argued that none of the court processes were served on Access Bank, and so, the court cannot assume jurisdiction over a party that was not properly constituted before it.
Counsel to Coscharis Motors, Mr Osita Mbamalu, aligned himself with the argument and also objected to the suit on the grounds that they too had not been served with processes in the suit. He contended that this robbed the court of the requisite jurisdiction to hear the suit. Delivering his judgment, Aneke held on the issue of estopped that the court was not estopped in any form whatsoever, from hearing the plaintiff’s application. The judge said that although a similar case may have been adjudicated upon before a brother judge in the same court, the substance and ingredient of both suits were entirely different. “The doctrine of estoppel only operates where the parties are privies. “The suit referred to by the respondent which came up before my learned brother Justice Okon Abang, has no bearing with the current suit. “The facts, substance and ingredients of both suits are completely different, I therefore hold that the judgment of Abang does not constitute estopped to this suit,” Aneke ruled. On the issue that the police could not be restrained from discharging their duties, Aneke held that the provisions of Section 4 of the Police Act, was subject to overriding statutory provisions of the constitution. He held that the court had a duty to regulate public officers in the discharge of their duties, especially where it is not done in accordance with the law, and where the personal liberties of individuals were at stake. Aneke said that the police must ensure that their duties are carried out in accordance with the principles of natural justice, equity and good conscience and in line with laid down provisions of law.
He, therefore, held that it was the duty of the court to regulate the conduct of public officers in the dispensation of their duties. On the issue of non service as contended by counsel to Access Bank and Coscharis Motors, the judge held that a proof of service of court process was an overwhelming evidence of service. He held that the proof of the service of the court processes on the two respondents were clearly exhibited in the court’s file. He, therefore, held that the proof of service, points to the fact that all respondents were duly served, contrary to their claim. “The proof of service in the court’s file is a testimony to the service of processes on the respondents, and it stands unchallenged,” he said. He, therefore, held that the respondents were duly served with all court processes. “It is my humble but firm view that this suit as instituted by the applicant is competent. “By the provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the applicant’s suit and his ancillary reliefs sought is hereby sustained. “The preliminary objection of respondents has no basis and is devoid of merit. The objection hereby fails and is accordingly dismissed. “An order of perpetual injunction is therefore made restraining the respondents either by themselves or their privies, from arresting, detaining or otherwise harassing the applicant in any form whatsoever. “The sum of N10 million is also awarded as damages against the respondents, jointly and severally, for infringing on the personal liberty of the applicant,” Aneke added.
in restive northern Nigeria
he group known as Ansaru, which Monday claimed the kidnapping of seven foreigners in northern Nigeria, has emerged as a new threat in the restive region, particularly concerning abductions. FULL NAME: In emailed statements purportedly from the group, it has identified itself as Jamaatu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladissudan, which is Arabic for the Vanguard for the Aid of Muslims in Black Africa. ORIGIN: It is believed to be a splinter faction of Boko Haram, which has carried out a violent insurgency in northern and central Nigeria for several years. MEMBERSHIP: Little is known about its members. Some experts say its leader may be Khalid al-Barnawi, one of three Nigerian extremists labelled a CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
Pastor arrested with human parts
he Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Manko, on Monday confirmed the arrest of two persons, including a Pastor, for allegedly being in possession of fresh human parts, which they concealed in two bags. The pastor and his accomplice caught with human parts were arrested on Saturday and currently in detention at the State CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
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