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President Jonathan is confused and incompetent -Balarabe Musapg 28
Vol. 2 No. 143 17th - 23rd JULY, 2012
QUOTE OF THE WEEK This man (Jonathan) is confused and he's not capable. He lacks popularity and legitimacy. Look at how he contested the presidency. His party had a provision of zoning, whatever we feel about zoning; the thing is that it was policy of his party. You can't violate the policy of your party on fundamental issues and escape with it. This zoning, power shift or whatever you call it has existed since the beginning of Nigeria, particularly from 1959, and it has worked to keep Nigeria united and to give every section some sence of belonging. It has gone to the extent that it has even become part of our life. Even in your family you have to take care of how you treat problems among the members of your family, so that no one is aggrieved. Now, with the level of political immaturity, with the level of different contending interests in Nigeria, you can't impose merit alone. Whether you like it or not, merit has to be tempered. He ignored it, he used incumbency. Former Governor of Kaduna State, activist, elder statesman, Alh. Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa commenting on President Goodluck Jonathan
SHA’ABAN 1433 A.H
Discrimination Against HND Holders:
Dark Clouds Hang Over Customs Service!
Why CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi dumps Jonathan and backs Buhari
Affected Officers set for a showdown pg 6
The untold story of why the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Pilgrims Board, Sule Buba resigned pg 12
Sen. Ndume’s alleged links to Boko Haram:
A Case of Pursuing Shadow Instead of Substance? pg 7
Pastor Oritsejafor’s failed politics in the United States
Current demolition in FCT counter-productive - Survey
Exclusive Jonathan’s Chairman details of how on fuel subsidy verification Dana Air Crashed is a member of the oil cabal pg 14
17th - 23rd July, 2012
ACHIEVERS’ CORNER Column that Profiles Heroes and Heroines of Northern Nigeria
ALHAJI MUHAMMED MONGUNO PERMANENT SECRETARY NORTHERN STATES MINISTRY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT
e was born in Monguno in the old Borno Province in 1926. He attended Elementary Schools in Monguno and Potiskum from 1932 to 1938 before going to Borno Middle School between 1938 and 1943. He also attended the Clerical Training College Zaria from 1948 to 1949 and through personal efforts and determination, he took the Chartered Secretaries Course. Again, between 1957 and 1958, Alhaji Mohamnmed Monguno did a Postgraduate course in Public Adminstration at the Oxford University London. He started working as Assistant Accountant in the Borno NA Treasury from 1943 to 1948 and transferred to government service as Instructor, Clerical Training College Zaria in 1949, becoming the School's Bursar when it was upgraded. In 1956, he became one
of the first six indigenous Assistant District Officers (ADOs) appointed on promotion and posted to Katsina Province. Between 1958 and 1959, he was in Kano as ADO and Assistant Secrertary. In 1961, he became Recruitment Secretary in the Public Service Commission and in 1962 Secretary to the Northern Region's Agent General in London. He was to act as the Agent General between January and March of 1963. When he returned home in June 1963, it was to take up Provincial Administration. He served as Provincial Secretary in Benue, Sokoto and Zaria from 1963 to 1967. After the first and second coups of 1966, and the creation of States in 1967, the need arose for well trained and competent officers for the monumental task ahead. Alhaji Mohammed Monguno with his wealth of experience
was one of such officers and he was promoted Permanent Secretary incharge of the Ministry for Local Governments for the six Northern States. He served in that capacity from
1967 and 1968 when the rise in his official stature was confirmed as he was named the secretary of the North Eastern State of Nigeria.
LEAD SMS We now know better Certainly, our ignorance is giving way to total enlightenment. We are now beginning to understand the game plan of planting bombs in churches in the
northern part of Nigeria and killing innocent worshippers in cold blood. Evidences abound that the perpetrators of those acts are Christians themselves, who
Send Your SMS to 07061098500 08035154000
Compiled By Musa A. Abdussalam <SMS only>
NORTHERN GOVERNORS' CHALLENGE In recent times, hardly do you hear any of the Northern States Governors rises to the challenges ahead of him, especially the most important thing, “SECURITY.” Please where are we heading to? One cannot be sure of his safety at work, at home or just anywhere, why? This is total failure on your part the entire Northern Governors. Think twice! -From Moh'd Kabiru SNR Rigachikun, Kaduna. HON FAROUK LAWAN BRIBERY SAGA STORY This drama is getting Nigerians more confused; was the “oil bribery saga” stage-managed or real by both the parties involved? However this should not affect the full implementation of the benevolent fuel subsidy regime report to the letter. The two major players are found wanting. Since what is good for the goose is good for the gander, if Hon Farouk Lawan must go down, Chief Femi Otedola must also go down with him. -From; 08026771066 MIYATTI ALLAH/ DARAJA KAUTAL HORE What happened in Rwanda has happened to the Fulani in Plateau State. It is your turn to retaliate by following legal process to international court of justice, if you truly represent the Fulanis. -From Tijjani Musa, NO 30 CQ, Damaturu, Yobe State; 08088683946
NIGERIANS ARE WAITING The truth will come to light one day and it has even started coming out bit by bit, but for now I will try to be patient to hear Femi Otedola's version before I express my view. In one of Otedola's comments he said Hon. Lawan called him first and always disturbed him with calls. Also, he (Otedola) did not tell us that he visited Lawan in his Office. One thing I want Nigerians to note is that powerful politicians are at work and they don't want this nation to move forward. They want to rubbish Lawan's credibility politicallyFemi Otedola Nigerian's are waiting for your version. -From; 08034551869. PLEASE, RESCUE KANO STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT CIVIL SERVANTS May God Almighty come to the rescue of Kano State local government civil servants. No leave grants, no Ramadan bonus but massive sacking of local govt. officials and replacing them with those Mr and Mrs Red caps. Hon House of Assembly members, NLC and NULGE try as much as possible to exercise your constitutional powers so as to save the civil servants. Remember already PDP loyalists enjoyed their cows and Democracy Day Bonuses. -From Comrade Murtala; 08036266524 HON FARUOK LAWAN CONTROVERSES
after being caught simply disappear into -From Abu Abubakar bn Siddiq; thin air. The plots of mere mortals cannot 08186612127 in any way equal that of Allah. In Him we rest our case. From all current information even though they are very brief, it points to the fact that Hon Lawan is being blackmailed as for now. So now, who are behind the blackmail? -From Suleiman Adamu; 07031325602. BIRTH CONTROL, BAD IDEA! The proposed birth control law proposed by Mr. President is not a welcome idea. If he cannot give birth then he shouldn't try to stop others who have the God-given capacity from doing so. Population is the most important resource China, Indonesia, India and of course United States of America can boast of. People, especially leaders, should always think before uttering word. -From Moh'd Kabiru SNR; 08034551869 LOGICAL CONCLUSION Mr. President recently said in a media chart- it is up to individual public officials to determine whether they should declare their assets or not, that would be like asking thieves if they want to return their loot or asking kidnappers if they can return the ransom. Oh Mr President this will not help the anti- corruption war. -From; 08034586787. GOOD EFFORTS, HON. MOHAMMED! Now that Mr. President has started the partial implementation of the subsidy report by sacking the entire management of NNPC, he deserves to be applauded by all well meaning Nigerians for this singular act. However, Hon. Zakari Mohammed was right to remind the president of the other recommendations by the committee which goes beyond sacking the management of the NNPC. -From; Umarsanda@yahoo.com IT'S A WRONG IDEA, MR. PRESIDENT Let him come up with that law, we shall ignore it. He is joking and wants to divert our attention. Our
population is nothing compared to China and India; but still their governments are providing for their basic amenities. Come 2015 by God's grace, good leaders will triumph! -From; 08050955639 RE: ROW OVER MR. PRESIDENT'S BIRTH CONTROL PLAN Please say it loud that we don't need it. Mr President should focus his attention in finding a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity, corruption and unemployment facing the nation, not divert from one unsolved matter to start yet another one. -From; 08033677949 BANKS RAIDED IN TARABA Recently Gunmen raided banks in Taraba State and the commissioner of police said that his men were taken unaware. What a joke! Even a market woman is aware of the security situation in this country; it's a shame for the police anywhere in the country to claim ignorance and unpreparedness. -From; 08038457850 EQUITY SHOULD PREVAIL The recent incident that happened in Jos, Plateau State was a clear testimony that the time has come for our so-called leaders to wake up from their slumber and face the reality by ensuring proper security for the whole nation rather than allowing the innocent people dying day- after- day. The “BIROM” people need to embrace others, especially the Fulanis, so as to live in peace with one another. -From Adamu Dantanko, Anguwan Rogo, Jos, Plateau State. Adtanko@yahoo.com
17th - 23rd July, 2012 N 0794-2990 ISS
Weekly OUR MISSION: In creating the Heavens and the Earth and all that dwells within and in-between, Almighty Allah never had to consult anybody. Afterall, He is All-knowing, All-encompassing, Omnipotent and Merciful; One Whose actions are beyond being questioned. His laws and commands are about the heavens and the earth, man, plants, animals etc. and how they survive and symbiotically interact. Leadership, therefore, is about compliance with the laws of Allah in seeking people’s consent, managing them and their resources. It is within the above context that DESERT HERALD has emerged, so as to contribute its quota in building, entrenching, and enhancing a virile society based on the fear of Allah, justice, equity, fairness and accountability. We have resolved to always protect our nation’s values, cultures and our peculiarities. So help us Allah. Ameen
THE TEAM Tukur Mamu: PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Umar Abubakar: DEPUTY EDITOR Tukur Uthman: EXECUTIVE EDITORIAL ADVISER Ibrahim Mada: PRODUCTION MANAGER Israel Ohia: ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF Abdullahi Mohammed Zuru: CHIEF PROOF READER Ojulari Abiodun: ADMIN/ACCOUNT OFFICER Zaynab Muhammad J.: PROOF READER Donatus Okorieuku: CIRCULATION MANAGER James Obute: SUB-EDITOR, ABUJA BUREAU SENIOR REPORTERS Maryam Musa Aminu Kano Bala M. Makosa James Obute Ifeanyi Chukwu Nwannah CORRESPONDENTS Ibrahim Adamu Kanoma Danlami Bawa Jama’a Ismail Koli Yunusa Abubakar Musa Abubakar Abdulsalam Abdullahi Chado PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT Bashir Mohammed Alkali Mustapha Magaji Dauda M. Dauda ADMIN Aliyu Yerima Kurjale Mohammed R. Aliyu PHOTOGRAPHER Emmanuel Obafemi BY WAY OF RESPONSIBILITY...
The views expressed in articles contributed by different readers, independent writers, etc are the authors' own and do not necessarily reflect DESERT HERALD's opinion/ editorial policy.
New Appointments In NNPC Not Enough
n Tuesday 26th June, 2012 President Jonathan sacked the GMD NNPC and other top officials of the Corporation, and arguably one will say that the Nigerian oil sector is among the most challenging departments of the Nigerian nation after security at the moment. The issue of the two sectors - oil and security - is that while it is being seen that the issue of law and order in a country has turned to a sorry state which is being followed by daily destruction of lives and properties; it is also apparent that corruption, which is now a cankerworm, has deeply infested the nation's fabric in the oil sector. One similarity between these two key sectors of the economy is seen in the changes in the people that manage their affairs. So if these changes are really desirable, they should be seen to be done in the light of critically tackling the problems as envisaged. It will be recalled that after the January general strike, protest and mass rallies, a lot was unearthed in the oil sector which the Nigerian people were not aware earlier. However, the President may be thinking that he needs to be given a pat on the back for the recent sweeping changes he made in the nation's oil tower, but this is nothing more than sheer routine exercise in the light of tackling the corruption and failed promises in the oil sector. What President Jonathan has failed to see is that these personnel changes of his are not indeed impressive as many reports on the NNPC have called for the total and thorough overhaul and unbundling of the Corporation. There are also calls from the National Assembly after the discovery of massive fraud within the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC to this effect, a scenario which calls for the outright resignation of the Minister of Petroleum Resources'. One thing which is clear is that the seeming rejection of President Jonathan to sack the Petroleum Resources Minister has the potential of establishing corruption within the NNPC. The question which Nigerians are asking President Jonathan is 'do these changes by the president simply go far enough? Doesn't relieving people of their appointments without reason; and then praising them for a job well done send a confusing and wrong signal? Moreover, what about having five NNPC managing directors in five years, what does that say about the instability of the office and the potential for graft? The point remains making insipid personnel changes in one or two places is not a cure for the nation's oil sector problems neither is it a strategy. This recent change of gear in the national oil tower is just another change too many, while the problem with the NNPC was beyond the sack of its management, but also how to institutionalize unfettered structural process to run its operations without undue political interferences. Beyond this, it is also obvious that the Presidency's interference in the operations of the NNPC, especially in money matters, has done more harm and made the corporation completely lose its credibility in business transactions both at home and abroad. Yes, one will agree that it is not a Jonathan thing alone, as this whole issue was set up by former President Obasanjo when he indeed reigned as the sole administrator of the entire nation's oil and gas
sector as he also used NNPC funds to even run and maintain his PDP activities and campaigns. No wonder we had people like the former PDP Chairman heading the “lucrative” cow-milking conscription- the PPPRA. It is also clear that Nigerians saw what happened during the melee between Obasanjo and his deputy Atiku over how the NNPC was used for purposes other than our collective national interests and this trend has continued to Yar'Adua and now to Jonathan, as such nothing has changed. It is instructive to note that the Petroleum Minister's hold on the NNPC has remained questionable, leaving Nigerians to wonder why her continuous stay in that Ministry persists. However, when President Jonathan said there will not be any sacred cow in the fuel subsidy probe” (which is supposed to be credible and final) has contradicts his actions in implementation. This is despite the fact
Moreover, what about having five NNPC managing directors in five years, what does that say about the instability of the office and the potential for graft? The point remains making insipid personnel changes in one or two places is not a cure for the nation's oil sector problems neither is it a strategy. that since her assumption of office on the 6th of April 2010, till date, the total debt owed by the corporation is well over $9billion, which evidently cannot be paid either by magic or otherwise. Also following the Coordinating Minister of the Economy / Minster of Finance's declaration last week before the National Assembly, she disclosed that a whopping N2.19 trillion has already been paid as at June 2012 on subsidy. And this is for Mr. President to know that the debts being incurred by the NNPC in the last 24 months is being done under the leadership of Diezani as the Petroleum Minister. Another common thing which is seen in the Madam Petroleum Minister's reign includes the illogical and capricious awards of crude lifting contracts to obscure companies. This is a scenario which was last seen skyrocketed during the Late Abacha days as President. For all said and done, if Mr. President wants to record meaningful achievement in the Nigerian oil sector, these three should be adhered to strictly: sack the Petroleum Minister, unbundle the NNPC tower of corruption and also remove the NNPC from the Presidency.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Lack of public toilets forced people to defecate in the open place in Kaduna
Dogs are now another source of meat for some families...why?
Poverty! Another means of Transportation is invented
Many families cannot afford the cost of transportation of their children, rather...
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Analysis Kano's Red Cap and White Regalia:
A word for Gov. Kwankwaso By MUSA ABDULLAHI SUFI
t's been ages I am not talking due to the nature of constant travels to give my contribution in making impact to humanity especially the less privileged in terms of education, health etc. The subject matter: For a number of occasions I learnt Dr RMK mentioning his aim about wearing red cap as well as the slogan of Kwankwasiyya(Ideology), Wuju Wuju, Mahaha...to mention but few. Among aims include it is about honesty, dedication, commitment, serving the poor, zero corruption government etc. Personally, one thing I found out to be part of this aim is the one I really feel more practical and can be added to it. The simple idea is behind before this (present) government a particular part of civil servants or let me call them the parlour floor of the society.
Gov. Kwankwaso The people I am referring to are the messengers and probably the cleaners (popularly known as labourer) in the offices of the state government. The typical appearance of these kind of normally elderly and at least people beyond youth age are wearing the red cap and white clothes (Hausa shirt and trouser). Honestly, for me I also look at it as good attempt for the governor to appear and give value to the typical dressing of the people who are known with the most poor salary or allowance and even living condition. The governor might not know about it but I am advocating this to be part of the message he normally delievered of the subject matter. Especially with his vision and actions for the state. In summary I look at the whole issue as part of dedication to be the servant of the people of the state and I hope the governor can continue to prove our expectation. Sufi wrote in from Katsina
Current Demolition in FCT Counter-productive-Survey
he on-going plan by the FCT Minister and his management team in the FCDA to demolish over 19 towns and villages within the FCT belonging innocent poor Nigerians at this particular period of security challenges threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria is viewed in different quarters as a calculated attempt hidden under the cover of development to ridicule the Goodluck administration and swell the number of criminals in the country. An opinion poll conducted reveals that majority of the communities to be affected have already developed various degrees of anxiety, high blood pressure and even stroke as the news reached them for sensing a bleak future. The 'unfortunate' communities likely to be affected include; Pyakasa, Dei-Dei, Karmo-Dape, Suburi, Idu, Jabi, Guzape and Gishiri. Others are; Tasha, Zauda, Chika, Tudun Wada, Kuchingoro, Mabushi, Aleita, Piwoyi, Lugbe, Mpape and Gwagwa. The affected communities in the time of need, had exhibited a high sense of loyalty and commitment to the realization of President Jonathan's ambition at the April presidential election across party divide while at that particular time the FCT Minister who plans to carry out the exercise to the latter, is alleged to be in his native Bauchi State strategizing to defeat the incumbent governor, Isa Yuguda and replace him with an ACN candidate despite the position occupied by Yuguda as the North-east zonal campaign coordinator of Goodluck/Sambo train. Across section of the people interviewed on the obnoxious policy of rendering some people homeless in their own country for no justifiable reason other than greed said, “the timing is wrong as the entire exercise is inhuman, unjust and insincere and but only meant to enrich a selected few. The current security situation and bedeviling the country is enough reason to have discouraged the minister and his co-travelers from such an inhuman exercise. To render people homeless without a convincing reason is an invitation to violence and rising rate of
crime”. Isiaka Onimajesin, a sociologist and university lecturer who was one of those interviewed opined that, “an average Niger Deltan who may be affected by the exercise is likely to relocate to the creeks and join the army of militants for continuation of violent attacks on oil installations while the population of Boko Haram members may swell by recruiting disenchanted northerners affected just as the ranks of kidnappers in the Eastern states will receive a boost. Armed robbers and street urchins will also jubilate in the South-west as those affected by the demolishing exercise would be compelled to join them”. The sociologist added that, “the social implications are too many. The political factor is too heavy and the economic justification is very weak. Although government has a right to control development of towns and villages through demolishing as obtained in the Sen. Bala Mohammed Land Use Decree, that same government is at least expected to be humane and “President Goodluck should direct his study situations before embarking on such minister to put a stop to the exercise and then sensitive exercise of destabilization of its sack him and all those who master-minded people”. the exercise. The president should know that In his opinion, Samuel Ajeigbe, a political it is some estate developers that are economist said, “It ought to be noted that conspiring with the FCT administration to part of the reason for the level of insecurity in earmark certain areas for demolishing so to the country today is from the effects of past acquire same for their private businesses demolishing exercises carried out in the FCT against the interest of other law abiding as many youths were displayed and citizens”. immediately to took to crime to source for Ibironke Adeyemi Esq, opined that, “those livelihood. clamoring for the demolishing exercise do National secretary of an anti-corruption not wish the president well in his political group, Yakubu Jibrin said,”the planned endeavor. The architects of the nefarious exercise is wicked, barbaric, primitive and anti-people policy are meant to whittle down very inhuman from a person who is alleged the likeness the people have for the to be nursing a presidential ambition and president. Their aim is to use the exercise to plans to sponsor another politician for cause disaffection between the president and gubernatorial race in Bauchi State. Although those affected who massively voted him to the minister and his co-travelers need money power in 2011”. to lubricate their respective political Some unconfirmed insinuations going ambitions, such money should not be round say that the minister may want to use sourced from the legitimate property of the demolishing exercise to acquire some of others”. the land for himself, his family members and Musa Ilu who is likely to be affected said, friends as is always the case.
PDP Chieftain warns FCT Minister against overheating the Polity By OUR CORRESPONDENT
chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bauchi state, Mr. B.B Dogo, has cautioned the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Muhammed against overheating the polity in the interest of the majority in the country. Delivering a keynote address at a one day sensitization workshop Labuna Motel, Maitama, Abuja by Transparency for National Development (TND) a nongovernmental organisation for selected politicians across party divide preparatory for the forth local government elections scheduled to hold in Bauchi state, the politician opined that the Goodluck Jonathan administration needs to re-organize itself and appoint a formidable team of sincere, result-oriented and focused subordinates to deliver positive results not sycophants that are only in government to provide succour to only their family members at the expense of the welfare of the people. “We know how wretched some of those
ministers were and were erroneously appointed despite their being in opposition parties” he opined. Dogo added that for instance, “The FCT Minister who claims to have dumped the party that sponsored him to political relevance, ANPP to the PDP just to curry favour from president Goodluck not because of service to Nigeria. Despite that pretending to be loyal to the PDP federal administration and the trust reposed in him by the president, he scuttled the first visit of the first lady to Bauchi state for the launching of her pet project, Women Initiative for Change to disgrace the party in power and its leadership in Bauchi state. “His kangaroo decamping to the PDP in Alkaleri was organized to tally with the visit of Dame Patience Goodluck to Bauchi as a proof of his opposition to the success of the launching. Such are the politicians that do not deserve to be trusted in any conventional setting”, he said The chieftain further said, Senator Bala decamped from the PDP to the ANPP in 2007 to oppose the PDP at the general elections. As
a senator, he fought his political mentor who sponsored him to the senate and brought him to political prominence which attracted an effort to recall him for his failure to represent the people. As a typical Nigerian politician, he smartly dodged and played a fast one on the innocent president to hurriedly secure a ministerial appointment against the wish of Bauchi south electorates, “As a senator, he abandoned those he was suppose to represent and opted to nurse a tall ambition of becoming a governor or a president. His 2011 gubernatorial posters were pasted all over the state and when he sensed defeat at the PDP primary election, he along with other prominent PDP members in the state ganged-up to support the election of president Goodluck and that of an ACN gubernatorial candidate to defeat that of PDP. It is one of those political turncoats that, is now putting the structures to aspire to govern the state in 2015 on the platform of the same party he had wanted to defeat at the gubernatorial poll.”, he said
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Lead Story Discrimination against HND Holders:
Dark Clouds Hang Over Customs Service! Affected Officers Spoil for a Showdown By OHIA ISRAEL
they tell us is that there is no vacancy,” one of the aggrieved men said. They are demanding he prolonged injustice against that they are put at parity with their those who hold Higher National colleagues who are degree holders in line Diplomas has long been a big issue with a circular of the National Board for in the country. As it stands today there is Technical Education which they provided. disquiet in the Nigeria Customs and this According to a circular dated February 13, paper gathered holders of the HND 2009 signed by A.B Kurawe for the executive certificates have a lot of complaints against secretary and addressed to the Comptroller the Nigeria Customs Service. General of Customs, the board in response to The victims complained that even though a previous memo from the Customs stated, they have spent more years in a tertiary “the entry point for HND holders into the institution, they are still below degree public service is CONTISS 7 (GL 7) and they holders in the condition of service. “This progress to a terminal point of CONTISS 12 disparity skewed in favour of university (GL14).” degree holders is not justified”, the HND But investigations by this medium indicate holders insist. For instance, while the HND that the complaining customs men might be holders gained employment into the fighting a difficult battle as the disparity Customs Service on Grade Level GL 7, the between HND and bachelor's degree holders University degree holders' entry point is GL is not peculiar to the Customs Service but a 8. Another issue raised is that while public service policy that affects the civil polytechnic graduates can get promotion up service and even the military and security to GL 14, their degree holder colleagues can services. To some civil servants the issue of rise to GL 17 and even become the disparity is “a policy issue that is Comptroller General of Customs, CGC. And fundamental and has existed for a long time as a result of this grade level disparity, the and is rooted in the curriculum and salaries paid to HND holders are smaller philosophy behind setting up polytechnics compared to the ones paid to their bachelor's and universities. degree holders counterparts. For instance a civil servant who refused his DESERT HERALD learnt that the biggest name in prints said that: “In the public of them all is the discrepancy in the plan of service the management level or decision duties between them and university making level is the directorate level between graduates; while degree holders are given grade level 15 and 17 that is why a university e x e c u t i v e / s u p e r i n t e n d e n t c a d r e graduate can reach grade level 17. But the assignments, the HND holders are treated as polytechnic graduate who is trained to be a minors and posted on assignments like technician can only rise to chief technical guard duties. Furthermore, the OND officers officer or grade level 14, an assertion many who pleaded not to be mentioned, claimed people in the polytechnic system do not that they are on guard duty in the residence agree with this. For instance a professor and of senior officers, as it was found out that one in one of the nation's polytechnic says the of them was guarding a retired customs disparity is unfavourable to hi-tech officer in one of the Northern states. “Though development and shows a lack of seriousness in terms of allowances, we enjoy same on the part of government. allowances with our Bsc/BA counterparts, He backed the allowing of polytechnics to but in terms of schedule of work, we do jobs award degrees, observing that countries like meant for First School Certificate holders,” South Korea, India and other technology one of them bemoaned. conscious nations have done so. "I think Another issue is allowing that's the solution to it. GL7 officers to wear uniforms For instance a civil The proper solution if designated for officer cadre servant who refused they can be realistic is unlike degree holders. They t o a l l o w t h e his name in prints can only wear officers' uniform polytechnics to start when they get to GL 8, this said that: “In the public awarding degrees, paper discovered that it is only service the management a l l o w u p w a r d those in Abuja who are level or decision making mobility of the staff, allowed to wear uniforms provide them with the meant for officer cadre, in level is the directorate facilities without other parts of the country level between grade level losing site of technical HND holders have to wear 15 and 17 that is why a and vocational uniforms meant for the rank university graduate can content of the and file. Moreover in a bid to reach grade level 17. But p o l y t e c h n i c obtain degrees in order to education,” he said. improve their careers after the polytechnic graduate He lamented: "We g r a d u a t i n g f r o m t h e who is trained to be a train people in the polytechnic, the management technician can only rise polytechnic and at the of the Customs Service still to chief technical officer end of the day, they makes it impossible for them to acquire a PhD and convert to officer cadre. “ or grade level 14, an leave the polytechnic assertion many people in Many of us have gone to get and join the university university degrees, a few even the polytechnic system system because he have Masters degrees but what do not agree with this. cannot be a professor
here and that is why we are advocating that polytechnics, as they are should all be made polytechnic universities as they are in other countries of the world.” It will be recalled that the issue of disparity between HND and degree holders have always been an issue in the public service and actually received presidential attention during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. According to a close source in the federal civil service, “Obasanjo tried to get the National Council of Establishment to bring the two cadres at par. However, the council made up of the head of service of the federation and the head of service of all the states, reportedly came up with the resolution that the issue had to do with the curriculum in universities and polytechnics and Dikko Inde could not be tampered with.” Comptroller General Customs The source further said that the council advised, however, that the syllabus of some polytechnics could be structured so that they start awarding degrees. This would have enabled Ordinary National Diploma, OND, holders to study for the award of degrees instead of the HND. It was also gathered that the council specifically suggested that for two polytechnics and four colleges of education. These polytechnics are Yaba College of Technology, Kaduna Polytechnic and Auchi Polytechnic. The colleges of education are the Federal College of Education, Kano; Federal College of Education, Zaria, Kaduna State; Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State; and Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo, Ondo State. Moreover since there have been contradictory signals from the government about its true position as it will be recalled that in May 2009, shortly before Sam Egwu, then Prof. Rukayyatu minister of education at an interactive Minister of Education meeting with members of the Senate committee on education said that the federal government had commenced the Committee on Guidelines for Degree process of eliminating the disparity between Awarding for Colleges of Education and HND and degrees. According to Egwu the Polytechnics, which submitted its report on government was concerned about it because Tuesday, July 20. There is still a lot of job to be it was affecting morale and productivity in done before we can present it for approval by the Federal Executive Council,” she said. the public service. The minister said that among the issues “We are addressing the problem, because that still need to be worked out are the when a staff with HND does not earn the restructuring of syllabus; reconciliation of same recognition that his counterpart from academic profile of members of academic the university earns, it creates problems,” he said. But this hope was dashed in August staff and the status of existing students of the 2010, when Ruqquayat Rufa'i, the education institutions. However, there have been indications minister, told journalists that the issue of eliminating the disparity was just a proposal recently that the committee saddled with that was being worked on and that it might working out these issues might have take years to bring it to the federal executive submitted its report to the minister and that council for approval. “The planned the education ministry is putting finishing conversion of these institutions is just the touches to a document to be presented to the recommendation of the Implementation federal executive council soon.
Cont’d on page 7
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Lead Story Dark Clouds Hang Over Customs Service! From Page 6 According to a source in the federal ministry of education, it had been decided that as a pilot project, Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology will be immediately recommended to FEC for upgrade into degree awarding institutions. The source said that issues such as curriculum and service conditions of HND holders have been worked out and that the institutions would be called university of technology. For example, in Britain, academic degrees were validated for polytechnics as far back as the '60s. Over the decades, polytechnics in Britain have all upgraded to universities and the disparity between degrees and HNDs, referred to as “binary divide” was abolished in 1992 by the Further and Higher Education Act. However according to an education analyst in a phone chat with this reporter on this issue, “There is no doubt that the industrial growth of any nation depends on the level of the educational advancement and development of its middle level manpower. There are many polytechnic students with the Higher National Diploma (HND). Their presence in any economy ensures its growth and development and by implication its national development. The consequence of its absence in any nation is lack of development or slow national development.” To him he has this to say “This is exactly the case and problem with Nigeria. Even though Nigeria has many polytechnics that produce these middle level manpower, its economy has refused to grow. This is attributed to the disparity and controversy between the HND and Bachelors degree, which resulted in many students opting for the university education, which is purely academic and theoretical as against polytechnic education which is practical and pragmatic. The idea is that with bachelors' degree they will acquire better jobs and earn more salary. This tragedy has resulted in the mass exodus of students from the polytechnic to the university thereby creating a vacuum hard to be filled, in the nation's labour market, all due to disparity and controversy surrounding the HND and Bachelors degree. This has done more harm than good to the economic development and educational advancement of this nation. It has generated also a lot of controversy than progress in the educational system. For a long time, this controversy has been a thorn on the flesh of Nigeria's educational system. It is high time a lasting solution is given to the hydra-headed problem. Elsewhere there may be a big gap and difference between the polytechnic education and that of the university. But here in Nigeria the differences are not conspicuous. These little differences therefore, should not be the reason for the disparity between the two systems. It should also not be a reason for the disparity or controversy between the HND and Bachelors degree.” Even though he agrees that the two are not the same, he has this to say on these issues also; “In the first place, it is important to note that the two systems are not the same and can never be the same. One is also not an alternative to the other. Polytechnic education is purely a techno-scientific education. This is in contrast to that of the university that is predominantly academic. The meaning of this is that while polytechnic
education concentrates on technical cum scientific education and at the same time providing the nation and economy with the much needed and indispensable middle level manpower, the university concentrates on academic work and research. The result of their academic and research work is exactly what the polytechnic cadre puts into a practical form. For instance, an Electronics/Electrical Engineering graduate from the university can sit down on a table and plan how a given building can be wired. He is not expected to do the wiring himself. The wiring, which is a practical aspect, is now the responsibility of the polytechnic Electronic/Electrical Engineering graduate. The argument here is that while polytechnic education is more of practical, that of the university is theoretical. Polytechnic education is, for instance, 60 per cent practical and 40 percent theoretical while that of the university is vice versa. This little explanation is a pure pointer to the fact that both educational systems are not the same or is one an alternative to the other. Therefore, a student who is opting for the polytechnic education should bear in mind that he is opting for a practical- oriented education. He can only switch to the university if he wants to go academic or theoretical. In a nutshell, one does not enter a polytechnic as a last resort. It is a different educational system with its own mission, vision and, of course, a clear objective.” He said that having seen their peculiar attributes, one will now ask why the disparity or controversy between the HND and the Bachelors degree? This is a result of ignorance of those in government and public sector. The stakeholders in our educational system are to be blamed too. There is no basis for the disparity between the honours if the points are examined critically and objectively. “One needs four credits to gain admission into a Nigerian polytechnic against five required for the university system. The margin, frankly speaking, is not much and should not warrant the controversy. In fact, majority of the students in the polytechnics gained admission with more than five credits. The writer gained admission into the famous Mass Communications Department of the Oko Polytechnic with eight distinctions. Similar to the above point is the fact that polytechnic education lasts for five years while that of the university lasts for four years. One should have thought that the extra one year in the polytechnic would have made up for their supposed four credits on admission. In addition to that, one takes three subjects in the Polytechnic/Colleges of Education Examination to gain admission into the polytechnic while the University Matriculation Examination requires only one, which is not even a big margin.” “In terms of teaching staff, that of the polytechnic is as good as that of the university. The least qualification one needs for employment in the university, which is Bachelors degree, is also what is required in the polytechnic. This is also the case with the Doctorate degree, which is the highest qualification in both systems. The professorial title is just a title, which many Chief Lecturers in the polytechnics are qualified to be given. This is also the case with their standards of education. They are just the same. In fact, it has been proved time without number that some courses in the polytechnic are by far superior to that of their
university counterparts. Accountancy is one of such courses and statistics of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) shows that HND graduates of the polytechnics pass their ICAN examinations more than their university counterparts. Mass Communication is also another and likewise the Engineering courses. “Today the polytechnic graduates are competing favourably with their university counterparts in the labour market. This is also a pointer to the fact that university education in Nigeria has no strong and effective regulation unlike their polytechnic counterparts. No polytechnic can venture or dare to do any course in Nigeria today without getting a go ahead accreditation, temporary accreditation and permanent accreditation respectively from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), which is now being called the National Polytechnic Commission. This permanent accreditation is even subject to review every four years. Any polytechnic that violates this guideline receives a sledgehammer immediately from the Commission. The Commission is very serious, rigid and strict on this. This is the reason polytechnic education is undiluted, qualitative and competes favourably with the university system. The alacrity, speed and manner in which some university, some of which are not up to the polytechnic level, churn out graduates in courses it is clear beyond doubt that they are not qualified to do leaves much to be desired about their universal status and puts their standard, credibility and regulation to great question. Even the manner the new ones spring up day-by-day is an urgent matter of concern.” He further called that these and many others are the reason a full and final stop should be put on the controversy and disparity existing between the HND and Bachelors degree. “As a way out, the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency upgrade the level of HND to that of the Bachelors degree and also make it a criminal offence for anyone, especially those in the labour market, to discriminate in giving employment to the graduates. It is an undiluted truism that no nation can do without the polytechnic graduates because of their contributions and indispensability in any economy, especially ours, which is a developing economy. Bearing this in mind, the Federal Government should also, as a matter of urgency, upgrade the polytechnics to the level of the university. They can still retain the name Polytechnics, Colleges of Technology or be referred to as Polytechnic University. For instance, we can then have Moshood Abiola Polytechnic University Abeokuta, The Polytechnic University Calabar, Federal Polytechnic University, Oko, and Yaba College of Technology etc. The Federal Universities of Technology should also be placed under this status.” “In terms of admission, one should be admitted as it was before with the minimum of 4 credits. He will then do his Ordinary National Diploma (OND). He must do his four-month Industrial Training (IT) in the first year and one year IT after the OND. Then he will come back for his Higher National Diploma (HND) after which he will go for one year National Youth Service Corps programme and then come back for his Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) if he wants to change discipline, then Masters and
Dr. Ngozi Iweala Minister of Finance
There are many polytechnic students with the Higher National Diploma (HND). Their presence in any economy ensures its growth and development and by implication its national development. The consequence of its absence in any nation is lack of development or slow national development.” Philosophy degree.” According to him he is of the opinion that these polytechnic universities should be following strictly the curriculum of the polytechnic education as it is today. They should, on no condition, award conventional degrees. They should be restricted only to the technical degrees like HND, M.Tech, etc. They should also award honorary degrees and professorial title to deserving persons. For the sake of professional, undiluted and pure polytechnic education, the National Polytechnic Commission should be charged with the responsibility of their regulation and not the National University Commission. For the start and as an experiment, 12 polytechnics should be converted thus and monitored for at least 6year period. Their performance will eventually lead to the full conversion of others. Two should come from each of the 6 geo-political zones existing presently in the country. This is to avoid cry of marginalisation from any quarter. The above argument and suggestion if taken by the government and implemented will truly turn around the polytechnic education in Nigeria. It will also make the HND and Bachelors degree controversy die a natural death, having seen that the neglect and relegation to the background of the HND is a joke carried too far by our university counterparts. This is, sincerely speaking, the best solution.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Lead Story II Senator Mohammed Ndume alleged links to Boko Haram:
A Case of Pursuing Shadow Instead of Substance?
Senator Mohammed Ndume By JAMES OBUTE
ustice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja on July 10, 2012 adjourned the case of Federal Government of Nigeria verses Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume to 16th July, 24th & 31st October and 1st November 2012 for accelerative trial and hearing after the prosecuting counsel failed to produce any of the 6 witnesses in court. The Judge warned the prosecuting counsel several times to be ready for the case and produce the witnesses or else the case may be thrown out. The former National Security Adviser (NSA) to President Goodluck Jonathan, Gen. Owoye Azazi (rtd) in April 2012, at Warri, Delta State during the Second South-South Economic Summit said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had not acted responsibly in taking decision that had security implications for the country. He specifically said the rise in the activities of the sect just after the 2011 general elections was a pointer to his conclusion that the activities of Boko Haram might be connected with politics. He said security issue has been politicized leading to promotion of insecurity in every part of the country. According to Azazi who was kicked out from office in June 2012, if all leaders of Boko Haram are arrested the problem would not end because the situation that created the sect has not been tackled.
Jama'atu Ah lis Sunna Lidda'awati WalJihad popularly known as Boko Haram, in 2011 was responsible for at least 450 killings in Nigeria. It was also reported that they had been responsible for over 620 deaths over the first 6 months of 2012. Senator Gyang Dantong, Chairman Senate Committee on Health and the Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani also died while attending the mass burial of over 50 victims of Saturday 7th July 2012's attack on a village in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state. The frequent bomb blasts and violent attacks resulting to loss of lives and destruction of properties in Northern Nigeria almost on daily basis call for holistic approach to end this problem. However, this demands for sincerity and political will instead of shading crocodile tears while pursuing shadow instead of substance. Sparing a 'sacred cow' while making another a 'scapegoat' for political interest cannot also solve the problem.
In November 2011, Senator Ali Ndume was reported to be linked to Boko Haram. This alleged connection to Boko Haram was made following the Nigerian State Security Service's interrogation of a suspected Boko Haram member and spokesman, Aliyu Umaru Sanda Konduga on November 21, 2011. Ndume was afterward arrested and charged to court. Ndume was arraigned on December 12, 2011 on four counts of having links with Boko Haram. Konduga was sentenced to three years in prison after he confessed to being the spokesman for the Boko Haram on 7th December 2011. Just as stated above, considering the destruction of lives and properties in the recent times, it will be unfair for any rational human being who has the desire to take this nation, Nigeria to a greater height can still fold his hands and watch the nation goes down completely. This report is not aimed at exonerating anybody or group of persons at the detriment of the entire nation but it rather tries to point to the direction that will help in
Apparently, he had fallen out with Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, the strong man of Borno State politics who was never questioned over the degenerating security in the state despite several media reports allegedly fingering him in the controversies surrounding Boko Haram.
addressing the problem. Sometimes, some leaders in attempt to justify themselves come up with idea or views that will take the attention of the general public from the real issue while the problem continues unabated. However, the serious minded leaders who have the interest of the nation at heart usually take the bull by the horn. This is why the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua will not be forgotten in the history of Nigeria considering the role he played in settling the militant activities in Niger Delta. In fact, one of the security officers deployed to Niger Delta when the problem in the region was so high said late President Yar'Adua played a major role in settling the problem. According to him, the president listened to both religious leaders and traditional rulers in taken the decision he took which resulted to the panacea to the debacle in Niger Delta. This officer who does not want his name in print said so many ex-militants openly cried when the news of Yar'Adua's death broke out. Similar act of patriotism can still do great things in addressing the degenerating insecurity in Nigeria instead of apportioning blames or giving dog a bad name in order to hang it. Senator Mohammed Ali, a 54-year old man born of a Christian mother, Magdalene and Muslim father Ndume, was a representative for Chibok/Damboa /Gwoza Federal Constituency of Borno State from May 2003 to May 2011. He was the Vice Chairman, House Committee on National Planning between 2003 and 2007. He was the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives between 2007 and 2011. He won the election into the House of Representatives two times under the platform of All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). In December 2010, Ndume decamped to the PDP citing the injustice going on in the party as his reason for leaving the ANPP. He said the people from the grassroots of Southern Borno were solidly behind him. According to him, he was not being given a level playing ground in the competition with other ANPP aspirants who were in the race for senate seat. Apparently, he had fallen out with Governor Ali Modu Sheriff, the strong man of Borno State politics who was never questioned over the degenerating security in the state despite several media reports allegedly fingering him in the controversies surrounding Boko Haram. Ndume’s defection to the PDP was seen as a major challenge to ANPP because of his popularity. He was considered one of the most dynamic of the lawmakers from the North East Geopolitical zone. Following Ndume’s defection, the PDP reopened the sale of nomination forms. Alhaji Sanda Garba who had been the only aspirant for the Borno South Senatorial Seat stepped down for Ndume as PDP candidate. In the election in April 2011, Ndume won 146,403 votes ahead of Dr. Asab Vilita Bashir of the ANPP with 133,734 votes and Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) with 20,414 votes.
Cont’d on page 10
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Reproduced Kebbi Indigenes Wage ‘War’ against Gov Dakingari's 'Dictatorsip’ …for reverting to old Salary Scale, 8 days to the Holy Month of Ramadan Civil Servants Expose his dirty Contract Deals Indigenes resort to Special Prayers against his Insensitivity By MALAMI MAIBINDIGA
ast week was another 'black week' for the poor civil servants of Kebbi State. It would be recalled that after virtually all state governors agreed to pay the N18,000 minimum wage to workers, Governor Sa'idu Nasamu Dakingari resisted all efforts by the leadership of the workers union to approve even half of the national minimum wage until when the then acting governor, the incumbent speaker of Kebbi State House of Assembly, Habib Jega, took over and approved a negligible 100 percent increment to the impoverished workers of the state. After the controversial governorship re-run election that brought Dakingari back to power there was clear indication that he was not happy with the decision of Jega to approve and start paying the new salary even though it is far less than the N18,000 being enjoyed by their contemporaries in other states.
high with increased expenditure. With the current development which many citizens including non civil servants regard as highly insensitive considering the importance of the Ramadan to the Muslims populated civil servants, many civil servants with large number of families were left in confusion and extreme difficulties on how to manage the old salary which they lament was paid with questionable deductions thereby making it lower than even their old salaries. As a result of the singular decision taken by Dakingari against the interest of his workers, particularly the majority that have no lucrative postings and when the state NLC is seen to have clearly compromised and have become incapacitated to act, DESERT HERALD learnt that civil servants in the state are holding nocturnal meetings with a view to embarking on indefinite strike action even outside the umbrella of the compromised NLC leadership under another Fulani man, Sadiq Sambo Kawuje.
Inside sources told DESERT HERALD that Kawuje had recently bought a car of N5 million. A credible source confided in this reporter that as part of the alleged deal with the Kebbi State Government to compromise the rights of the civil servants, Kawuje was recently bribed with N10 million to frustrate any effort to embark on strike by the workers. The final straw that broke the camel's back was the indefinite suspension of Jega's approval to the civil servants last week and barely two weeks to the holy month of Ramadan by Mr. Dakingari. By implication and at a time poor civil servants have budgeted for Ramadan their June, 2012 salary which was as usual delayed till July, they will be paid with the old salary scale instead of the one that was approved by the then deputy governor which payment has since started. Prior to the unpopular decision to revert to the old salary structure, DESERT HERALD gathered that there was no formal communication to either the leadership of the state NLC that are generally seen to have compromised the interest of the workers due to alleged gratification from the government or to the workers through their respective ministries so as to enable them prepare and plan for the worst ahead of the Ramadan when prices of commodities are usually
Inside sources told DESERT HERALD that Kawuje had recently bought a car of N5 million. A credible source confided in this reporter that as part of the alleged deal with the Kebbi State Government to compromise the rights of the civil servants, Kawuje was recently bribed with N10 million to frustrate any effort to embark on strike by the workers. “As the NLC chairman in the state did you hear him make any statement since Dakingari reversed the salary to the old scale? He cannot because he has been paid to remain mute. Kawuje is in solidarity with the decision of BANDO, his fellow Fulani man”, he lamented. Also as part of the lingering crisis that denied many their means of livelihood, primary school teachers across the state have closed all government primary schools in protest to Mr. Dakingari's inability to review their package as earlier promised. DESERT HERALD also gathered that aggrieved civil servants in
Gov. Dakingari the state have organized themselves and resorted to extensive prayers for divine intervention and the difficulty they are passing through in the hands of Mr. Dakingari through what they call his antipeople policies. The issue of tribalism in the conduct of Mr. Dakingari has also worsen during the last few weeks with the appointment of another Fulani man, Aminu Tunga a.k.a Aminu Due Process, as Permanent Secretary of the ministry for justice. Prior to his controversial and largely
undeserved appointment, Tunga was Special Adviser to Mr. Dakingari on due process matters. For being a Fulani man, according to our sources, Mr. Tunga was given so much powers by the governor and had become so overbearing and rich as well. All contracts in the state have to be evaluated, reviewed and recommended by Tunga. Many were surprised how Mr. Dakingari considered him worthy of being the perm sec of a sensitive ministry of justice for the fact that he was not a career civil servant according to our sources. Cont’d on page 10
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Lead Story II Senator Mohammed Ndume alleged links to Boko Haram: From Page 8 Senator Ndume was appointed as a member of Presidential Committee established by President Goodluck Jonathan to consider the way of ending Boko Haram crisis in the North. This committee consititued in August 2011 was headed by Ambassador Gaji Galtimari. Other members of the committee include FCT Minister, Senator Mohammed Bala, former Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru, Minister of Labour Emeka Nwogu, among others. The committee among other things recommended dialogue with the sect members; youth empowerment; the issue of Almajiri should be addressed; implement previous similar reports set up by the government; those involved in the extra judicial killing should be prosecuted etc. It was not certain whether any of the recommendations of the committee has been implemented. However, when Senator Mohammed Ndume was being interrogated by the SSS over his links with Boko Haram members he said all his efforts was geared toward resolving the security challenges which threaten the peace and unity of the nation. According to Ndume, he only made contact with the group while serving as the member of the presidential committee set up to help quell the hostilities in the North East. Similarly, Farouk Dauda, a member of State Security Service who interrogated Senator Ndume as well as served as the witness at the Federal High Court, Abuja on July 3, 2012 said he obtained four statements from Ndume. The statements were admitted as exhibits p1, p2, p3 and p4. However, Dauda admitted that he cannot tell whether the statements of Senator Ndume were investigated when he was being crossexamined by counsel to Ndume. Counsel to Ndume, Richey Tarfa (SAN) maintained that
the case should be dismissed for lacking merits since the actions of his client were mainly on how to settle the problem of Boko Haram activities as mandated by the committee he served. Some sources who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity said if federal government is sincere in tackling the problem of Boko Haram it should exercise discretion in mishandling those assigned the responsibility of solving the problem. According to a source, the new National Security Adviser (NSA) Col. Dasuki is currently making efforts on how to get the contacts of the Boko Haram members for the purpose of ending the hostilities, and if government turns around to claim such a person is sponsoring the sect because he has their contacts, then it is unfortunate as the end to the problem may be too far. Senator Mohammed Aliyu Ndume as earlier stated was born to a Christian family but only became a Muslim when he was in form 1 in the secondary school. While in the House of Representatives as the Minority Leader, half of his staff were Christians. Even now that he is a senator representing Borno South Senatorial District, half of his staff are still Christians. His mother's name is Magdalene while his three sisters and one brother include Diana, Martha, Naomi and Daniel. As of the time of writing this report his mother is still alive with his brethren. On Thursday 12th July, 2012, two days after Ndume appeared in court for his case at the Federal High Court he got the news that his mother was sick and without hesitation went through air (aircraft) to Maidugiri to take care of his mother who is still a Christian. A source close to him who disclosed this however told this reporter that there was a ban on Senator Ndume restricting him from talking to media men adding that even though he is around he wouldn't have spoken on the case.
Though, Senator Ndume was prohibited from talking to media pending the determination of the suit against him, people close to him said half of his family are Christians. At an interaction with a friend he was quoted as saying “As at now I did not know how to read the Quran because I can't speak, write or read Arabic but I can read the Bible. “I do not believe in religious compulsion not to talk about taking anybody's life. It may interest you to know that I sponsor equal number of pilgrims to Israel and Mecca every year. As at the time I was arrested I had four Christians on pilgrimage including my youngest sister Martha. More than half of my personal staff are Christians. ”It was the committee that mandated me to contact the Sect. Before then I had no contact whatsoever with anybody in the Sect. I got the contact through BBC correspondent who they usually talk to. “I did not say the VP is involved. What I said is that when I got the first information about the sect, I passed it on to the committee, the VP and the DG SSS.” Similarly, on the Borno Elder's Forum which some quarters said he formed, he said “the Borno Elder's Forum has been in existence even before I joined politics. Beside this Forum is composed of Elders from Borno Emirate not Borno State as whole. “I come from minority tribe in Borno South called Gwoza.” A source who spoke to DESERT HERALD on condition of anonymity after the court session penultimate week said Ndume's travail may not be unconnected to his popularity in his own state and at the national level. The source further said because he is known as a dynamic politician, many politicians who are ambitious over 2015 elections may not find it convenient if Ndume is not chained now. Similarly, former National Security Adviser to President Jonathan further said “We try to play the
Kebbi Indigenes Wage War against... From Page 9
name of saving more money to a government that is not performing. He said thorough investigation of the central account will reveal the massive corruption the governor himself is perpetrating. Another violation of civil service rules, which was being promoted for corruption and tribalism purposes this paper gathered, is that most of the Directors that are heading lucrative offices and postings in the ministry of finance are junior Directors from grade levels 13,14 & 15 while substantive Directors on grade level 16 are denied the opportunities to hold those units as even the Deputy Accountant General (DAG)of the state, Aminullahi Umar, this paper can exclusively report is on grade level 15 while his seniors on grade level 16 where posted to other ministries and parastatals. A senior civil servant lamented that due process is grossly being violated and the ethics and professionalism in the civil service are gradually being destroyed by the governor mainly for tribal reasons. He said the normal thing is that senior Directors are usually
being retained in the headquarters so that in case of any eventuality they can act as the Accountant General or the Deputy DESERT HERALD investigation reveals Accountant General. that many qualified directors in the ministry While civil servants are allegedly being and other perm secs with requisite shortchanged by the governor and projects experiences in related fields were denied the being awarded for the purpose of getting the posting in favour of Tunga. huge interest, the state according to them is at Another appointment that has same tribal the receiving end under Mr. Dakingari's sentiment and violates state character is the (mis) rule. A senior engineer at the ministry appointment and posting of one Dr. Usman of works lamented that multibillion naira Dakingari as the perm sec of the ministry of failed projects awarded by Dakingari like agriculture. Prior to his appointment, Usman the upgrading of Ambursa airport at the who hails from the same town of Dakingari whooping cost of N11bn, the Birnin Kebbiwith the governor is the Programme Makera road project at a ridiculous sum of Manager of Kebbi State Agricultural and N7.7bn, the failed project of 200 bed hospital Rural Development Authority (KARDA). at Kalgo which now becomes shelter for While the government of Mr. Dakingari reptiles, the twenty kilometres Goro-Kardi has failed to consider the plight of its road construction at another inflated sum of impoverished workers, DESERT HERALD N1bn which are all not in any progress while gathered from another inside source that others were abandoned were in essence every Monday and Friday a cheque of N9 awarded for the economic interest of the million is being raised in the name of the governor and his business associates. The Government House through the central engineer alleged that “Dakingari usually account unit of the ministry of finance for collects between 20 to 30 percent interest of fraud related reasons. He said if Mr. the total cost of Dakingari is really serious in capital projects fighting corruption and A senior engineer at the ministry of works lamented that multibillion naira failed projects awarded by Dakingari like the he awarded and restoring accountability, the upgrading of Ambursa airport at the whooping cost of N11bn, the s o m e t i m e s central account unit where most deals of the government house Birnin Kebbi-Makera road project at a ridiculous sum of N7.7bn, the i n f l a t i n g t h e total sum of are emanating from should be failed project of 200 bed hospital at Kalgo which now becomes contracts to fully investigated and not to shelter for reptiles, the twenty kilometres Goro-Kardi road suffer innocent workers in the construction at another inflated sum of N1bn which are all not in any cover his selfish
progress while others were abandoned were in essence awarded for the economic interest of the governor and his business associates.
Some sources who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity said if federal government is sincere in tackling the problem of Boko Haram it should exercise discretion in mishandling those assigned the responsibility of solving the problem. ostrich and think things will blow over. I believe we should stop the politicization of security issues in Nigeria.” If the yearnings and aspirations of many Nigerians are to be achieved in respect of peace, stability, growth and development then pretence, insincerity, crocodile tears, greed and inordinate ambition should be put aside in the fight against the degenerating insecurity. The issue of preserving an individual or group as 'sacred cow' while making another person or group of persons 'scapegoat' should be discouraged as this will further aggravate the problem on the ground. interest”. The 'completed' Goro-Kardi road which cost the poor people of Kebbi State N1 billion remains as dangerous as it was before it was partially constructed. This reporter has visited the road last week and can reveal that the outcome after the claim of spending N1 billion is embarrassing to the government. Apart from the fact that it is not double lanes, the size of the one lane road is so small that two vehicles coming from either side hardly pass at the same time without the other coming down because the size of the road is too small to contain such traffic. Even residents of the area lament that the highly inflated project is a total waste. Another classmate of Mr. Dakingari who preferred not to be mentioned sums it up by saying “this is somebody we know very well at the early stage of our lives. It is true that he always enjoy seeing people suffering. A sadist may be the best way to describe him but it is a rather hash word to describe a governor. I believe Bando will never change. During our days he associated more with females than his male friends. Dakingari was then an errand boy to one Nana Zagga, Lidia Ango and Habiba Sani. Ask him he knows them all. They are all females. They always send him to do things for them and he is always at their disposal. One of them, Nana Zagga, is today a Director of Personnel Management (DPM) under Dakingari. But he was an errand boy to her at SCAS”. Maibindigi is a free lance journalist. He contributed this piece from Birnin Kebbi.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Special Report 'Chairman, Presidential Panel on Subsidy Verification, Imoukhuede is oil cabal member’-Report By OUR CORRESPONDENT
committee “to properly identify all cases of overpayments and/or irregular payments; to ccess Bank's MD, Aigboje Aig- accurately identify all likely fraudulent cases Imoukhuede, is one of President for criminal investigations, and to review any Jonathan's closest friends. After other pertinent issues that may arise from its pocketing a whopping N345.3 million and failing to supply petroleum products, AigImoukhede has been rewarded with appointment to probe himself and his accomplices. Chairman of the special committee appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan to verify and reconcile the records of payments on fuel subsidy, Aigboje AigImoukhuede, owns a company that received millions of Naira in subsidy payments for products it allegedly failed to deliver. Detailed company findings by an Abujabased non-governmental organization (NGO), Youth Alliance Against Fuel Subsidy Removal, revealed that Mr. AigImoukhuede, who is the Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, also owns Ice Energy Petroleum Trading Limited, which allegedly received $2,131,166.32 in hard currency (about N345.3 million) in 2011. It is not clear whether the company delivered the product for which it was paid but the House committee believe it did not. The defunct Farouk Lawan-led House of Representatives Committee had, in its report, queried the company for receiving payment when no petroleum products were Diezani Allison imported and supplied. Ice Energy was one of the 45 companies Minister of Petroleum invited to appear before the probe committee, but which failed to either honour w o r k a n d m a k e a p p r o p r i a t e the invitation or submit documents recommendations.” concerning their involvement in the Mr. Jonathan's decision to appoint the monumental fraud that attended the subsidy Access Bank's MD to lead such an important scheme. committee, observers say, underlines the Findings by Youth Alliance at the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s r e l u c t a n c e t o a c t Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and appropriately on the report of the House made available to PREMIUM TIMES, shows committee, which uncovered monumental that Mr. Aig-Imoukhuede heads the three- fraud in the fuel subsidy regime. man board of Ice Energy, which has Iroche Chuks, as managing director, and Aikhionbare Sam, as member. Mr. Jonathan's Following the shocking revelation in the report of the House of Representatives decision to Committee that fuel subsidy payment, for which about N245billion was appropriated appoint the Access in the 2011 budget, had suddenly spiraled to over N2.6 trillion (over 2,200 per cent) as at Bank's MD to lead such December last year, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, an important Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, constituted a Technical Committee on review of Fuel committee, observers Subsidy Payments, and appointed Mr. Aigsay, underlines the Imuokhuede as its head. It is not clear if the ministry was aware of administration's Mr. Aig-Imuokhuede's involvement with Ice Energy before appointing him to the reluctance to act committee, which was mandated to verify, ascertain and reconcile discrepancies appropriately on the related to all subsidy arrears payments to petroleum products marketers. report of the House Following the completion of the assignment, President Jonathan, apparently committee, which glossing over the indictment and complicity of Mr. Aig-Imuokhuede's company in the uncovered fuel subsidy scandal, last Thursday reappointed him to head another 15-man monumental fraud in committee to further verify and reconcile all claims made in the report of the Technical the fuel subsidy Committee he led. regime. The president requested the new
When this medium sought to know from the president's spokesperson, Reuben Abati, whether the president was aware that Mr. Aig-Imokhuede also benefitted from the fuel subsidy payments he was asked to verify, his
owns Maizube Petroleum, which was listed in the House of Representatives report as one of the 45 companies fingered by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for benefitting from the subsidy payment but failing to pay
Aigboje Imoukhuedu MD Access Bank response was a question: "Are you sure?" When our reporter answered in the affirmative, he continued, "If that is the case, the question to ask is: Is his company guilty of any wrongdoing?" When he was asked whether that did not amount to asking the Access Bank's managing director to probe himself over the scam, "Mr Abati said "No" pointing out that “it would only amount to asking an insider to do an inside investigation." Mr. Abati, who promised to get more information, and revert to our reporter, never did before press time. Youth Alliance Against Fuel Subsidy Removal said it conducted the search on the indicted companies to “put a face to the indicted companies, to let Nigerians know exactly who took their money and then formed a cabal stronger than the government.” Before announcing the removal of subsidy on petroleum products in January this year, one of the reasons President Jonathan gave was that a few Nigerians, who had since constituted themselves into a “cabal”, were enjoying the fuel subsidy largesse. Uptil last April, when the House of Representatives Committee released its probe report, the companies and individuals that benefitted from the subsidy regime were largely unknown. But extensive searches by the youth group at the CAC appear to have exposed some of the individuals behind the crook companies as well as the make-up of the faceless 'cabal'. “Mr Aig-Imuokhuede is not the only government apologist who belong to this 'cabal”, a spokesperson for the group said in a statement at the weekend. Other beneficiaries of the subsidy scheme revealed by the searches include former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who
tax. Maizube Petroleum, which was invited to appear before the probe committee, never showed up to answer questions, though it sent documents. The report also said Maizube Petroleum should be compelled to refund the about N5.51billion it collected as subsidy for millions of litres of petroleum products it claimed to have imported but which could not be verified. The House probe report also indicted the company for discrepancies in volume claims and dates of discharge it claimed it made between 2010 and 2011. The former head of state, widely celebrated as one who facilitated the birth of the current democracy after he voluntarily handed over power to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999, sits on the Board of Maizube Petroleum with Abubakar Isa A, and Abubakar Aminu . Another member of the cabal is the running mate to Nuhu Ribadu in the 2011 presidential election under the Action Congress of Nigeria platform, Fola Adeola, who is also the co-founder of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Mr. Adeola, according to CAC records, sits on the board of Eterna Oil Plc, listed in the subsidy report as one of the companies indicted for tax evasion. After details emerged that Farouk Lawan, chairman of the House Subsidy Committee, received $620,000 bribe from oil marketer Femi Otedola to clear his company, Zenon Oil, Mr. Adeola campaigned vigorously that government should set the report aside. “If the allegation is proven, the report is contaminated. Period! We need to get to grips with this” Mr Adeola tweeted on June 12 via his Twitter handle @tfolaadeola. Out of the 74 companies indicted in the report, only 48 were properly registered with the CAC, DESERT HERALD gathered.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Insight Crisis at Kaduna State Muslims Welfare Board:
Why Ambassador Sule Buba Resigned By ABDULKARIM YUNUSA
ike thunderclap, the resignation of Ambassador Sule Buba, the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims' Welfare Board, last week caught all stakeholders in Hajj operation by surprise. It is the least expected development especially at this crucial period when Hajj preparation is in top gear. This is notwithstanding the fact that the circumstances that led to his resignation are not yet clear to the general public. Since its establishment under the Kaduna State Government Edict No. 3 of 1986, the board has conducted 26 Hajj operations under 23 different heads with Ambassador Sule Buba being the 24th person to head the board. The first Executive secretary of the board was Alh Umar Idris. Out of the 23 different heads that have captained the ship of Kaduna pilgrims' board so far, Ambassador Sule Buba's tenure was the shortest (June 2011 – July 2012). The longest being Alh Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed MON, who was appointed in 2001 before he was elevated to Permanent Commissioner in–charge of operations at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria in 2011. The question that kept on flashing in the memory remains why the respected Ambassador throws in the towel less than two years he was appointed? Whatever might be the reason for his sudden exit, the timing is wrong. The preparation for Hajj 2012 is at its peak. He supervised all the arrangements and could have waited after this year's operation is over. He was appointed on June 3rd 2011 along with Chief of staff Mr. Abokie Galadima, and Secretary to the State Government Alhaji Lawal Yakawada by His Excellency, Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. Ambassador Sule Buba was the director-general of YakowaNakowa Campaign Organisation during the last governorship election. He was the immediate past chairman of Kaduna State market development. He was also appointed in June 2000 as Nigeria's ambassador to Senegal. While many see his appointment as a political compensation, others believe it was a well deserved appointment owing to his experience as a former diplomat. However, his sudden resignation seems to vindicate those who held the assertion that it was political scale that weighs in his favour. Ambassador Sule Buba has no experience in Hajj operation ditto Hajj management. The exit of Abdullahi Mukhtar Muhammed MON, who was appointed as the Permanent Commissioner in-charge of operations at the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) by federal government creates vacuum. His elevation was seen by many
people as a reward for his outstanding achievement throughout his 8 years of stewardship. When it became imminent that Abdullahi will leave for national assignment, politicians swing into lobbying. It was alleged that more than 500 top and retired civil servants in and outside the state signified interests in the position. Some top management of the board also signified interest, banking on their experience and expertise. Competition for the position became tense with pressure coming from different interest groups lobbying Gov Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. So, it was a surprise when announcement was made on 3rd June by special adviser on Media to Governor Yakowa that Ambassador Sule Buba has been appointed as Executive secretary. That was five months to the commencement of airlift of pilgrims to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Before he assumed duty, virtually all arrangements for Hajj 2011 have been concluded by the outgoing executive secretary. 90% of Hajj seats have been sold and accommodation secured, leaving issues of Gov. Yakowa pilgrims' Basic Travelling Allowance (BTA), pilgrim's enlightenment and other preparations for the incoming management. Many believe that his glaring ineptitude and unwillingness to learn the rope contributed to his frustration that eventually culminates in his resignation. There are also allegations of Hajj seat racketeering as widely reported by different electronic and print media. In one of its editions, the Blue Prints Newspaper reported how the outgoing executive was alleged to have cornered 40 per cent of Hajj seats to himself. “Our correspondent gathered from an aggrieved staff that a total of 7, 550 seats were allocated to the state and that out of the number, the 23 local government areas got 3,500 seats for their respective pilgrims. The aggrieved staff alleged that the executive secretary directed the local government pilgrims' officers to sell only 60 per cent of the seats allocated to them each depending on the Muslim population, while the remaining 40 per cent be reserved for stakeholders and local government-
sponsored pilgrims. The paper further reported that the executive secretary allegedly kept more than half of the seats allocated to the state to himself and members of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). The executive secretary was also alleged to have given 50 seats to each local government pilgrims'
officer, and that the board had not made any arrangements on accommodation in Saudi Arabia for this year's Hajj.” Also, the Weekly Trust of 2ND June 2012 page 54 reported how 6, 000 Hajj seat were alleged to have been sold within 24 hours. In the paragraph 2 of the report, it was stated that “In Kaduna State, which was allocated 7, 550 seats by the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), intending pilgrims for this year's Hajj are groaning as the Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board said it sold 80% of seats within 48hours. The board, the paper gathered, flagged off the sales of the Hajj seats on April 11. It closed the following day claiming it has exhausted 80 per cent of the seats allocated to the board.” Hajj operation wise, he shoots himself in the foot by facilitating the transfer of some experienced senior staff of the board. Their years of experience could have been explored by Ambassador Sule Buba led management. Hajj is an exercise that is practical oriented and it requires total dedication. Another factor that led to the downfall of Now that he has resigned from the board leaving Ambassador Sule Buba is his style of administration. He quickly dismantles all behind strewn and disoriented arrangement, what the good policies laid down by previous steps can Gov Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa take to rescue administrations. For example, he inherited a biometric registration process, well the pilgrims' boards from imminent failure taking into structured enlightenment programme, cognizance that more than 7, 500 Muslims from Kaduna well motivated and coordinated staff, prudent system of managing Hajj funds, State will be performing this year's Hajj? online ticketing, and a flexible
arrangement. He instead reverted back to outdated manual registration of pilgrims. As a result of that, Hajj seats meant for Kaduna State were allegedly hijacked with some pilgrims paying additional one hundred thousand naira before they could secure one Hajj seat. He could have learned that the finest plans have always been spoiled by the
Amb. Sule Buba
littleness of those that should carry them out. Even emperors can't do it all by themselves. Now that he has resigned from the board leaving behind strewn and disoriented arrangement, what steps can Gov Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa take to rescue the pilgrims' boards from imminent failure taking into cognizance that more than 7, 500 Muslims from Kaduna State will be performing this year's Hajj? This question became necessary because it is now clear that Ambassador Sule Buba was not appointed because of his competence but a mere political compensation. The vacuum his exit created should be filled by someone who knows the job. I am of the opinion that the position should be advertised for those who are interested to apply. Professionals in the field of Hajj administration should be invited to conduct the screening. It is the only way to avoid the mistake that brought Ambassador Sule Buba in. The welfare of over 7, 500 Kaduna pilgrims cannot be left in the hands of those who know nothing about Hajj operations. Stability or other wise of Kaduna State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board will inadvertently affect the operation. The state government must look for someone who has the experience, ability and managerial acumen to captain the ship for this year's Hajj. Yunusa writes from Sobon Gari Tudun Wada in Kaduna
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Gen. Buhari (Rtd)
Sanusi Dumps Jonathan, Backs Buhari, Says President Is Weak
here are strong indications that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi, may be a mole in the President Goodluck Jonathan's administration. Even though Jonathan sees him as a strong ally in the fight against corruption and setting firm agenda for strong fiscal and monetary policies, some close to the President are not comfortable with some of Sanusi's subterranean activities. The conviction of some members of Jonathan's kitchen cabinet is that while Sanusi hobnobs with Jonathan he had and is still, surreptitiously working for the Congress For Progressive Change, CPC, Presidential candidate, General Muhamadu Buhari whom he feeds with insider story of the Government. "He is a mole. He takes information to Buhari and El-Rufai and portrays the Government in bad light and yet he is still serving under the same Government and brags nobody can sack him." A source that was in Kano for his turbaning ceremony said "he was at a meeting with some of his close allies shortly after the ceremony and expressed his dislike for the administration. He started talking after one of his friends asked him his view about the Jonathan's administration. According to the source who does not want to be named "he clearly said the administration was finished and that he
would back Buhari again if he decides to run. Sanusi said he was just `marking time' with Jonathan. He has been telling people that Jonathan is weak and Buhari is better, he has been bragging that Jonathan cannot remove him unilaterally." Pointblanknews.com sources hinted that Sanusi, who championed the need for Islamic banking, had tried at some fora to justify the mayhem by Boko Haram, minimizing the sect's underline objective, which is Islamization of some sections of Nigeria. His utterances on the activities of Boko Haram appear to be in tandem with some high profile northern elders like Adamu Ciroma, Shettima Ali-Monguno, and Lawal Kaita. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had maintained that the interest free Islamic banking would help tackle the problems of tobacco smoking, alcoholism, gambling and prostitution and others in Nigeria.
Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi in an interview with the Financial Times blamed the emergence of the Boko Haram terrorist sect on the 13% derivation allocated to the oil producing states from the federation account. He had told Financial Times "There is clearly a direct link between the very uneven nature of distribution of resources and the rising level of violence." In 2010 Sanusi said "If Buhari gets a nomination he will have my vote. I will vote for him not, like some have averred, because he is a northerner and a Muslim or because I think his candidacy is good for the north and Islam; I will vote for him not because I think he will make a good democrat or that he was not a dictator. I will vote for Buhari as a Nigerian for a leader who restored my pride and dignity and my belief in the motherland. I will vote for the man who made it undesirable for the "Andrews" to "check out" instead of staying to change
According to the source who does not want to be named "he clearly said the administration was finished and that he would back Buhari again if he decides to run. Sanusi said he was just `marking time' with Jonathan. He has been telling people that Jonathan is weak and Buhari is better, he has been bragging that Jonathan cannot remove him unilaterally.â€?
Nigeria." This medium sources hinted that Sanusi maintained this position recently during a private meeting with some close friends shortly after his turbaning in Kano. According to our source, Sanusi donated about N50 million to the Buhari campaign organization before the last presidential election. President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua nominated Sanusi as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on 1 June 2009 and the Senate confirmed his appointment on 3 June 2009, in the middle of a global financial crisis. In parallel to his banking career, Sanusi contributed to the debate over Sharia law. In 1997, Sanusi obtained a degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from the African International University in Khartoum, Sudan Sanusi was born on July 31, 1961. His father was a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and his grandfather was Emir of Kano and Islamic Scholar, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi. Sanusi graduated from King's College Lagos in 1977 and studied at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria earning a BSc in Economics in 1981. He then taught economics at ABU from 1983 to 1985. Culled from pointblanknews.com
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Insight Dana Crash: How it all happened T
he Preliminary Report by Accident Investigation Bureau on 3rd June 2012 about 1545 hours, 5NRAM, a Boeing MD-83, a domestic scheduled commercial flight, operated by Dana Airlines Limited as flight 992 (DAN 992), crashed into a densely populated area during a forced landing following a total loss of power in both engines while on approach to Muhammed Murtala Airport (LOS), Lagos, Nigeria. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and the airplane was on an instrument flight plan. All of the 153 persons aboard the airplane, including the 6 crew members were fatally injured. There were 10 confirmed ground fatalities. The airplane was destroyed. There was post impact fire. The flight originated at Abuja (ABV) and the destination was LOS. The airplane was on the fourth flight segment of the day, consisting of two roundtrips between Lagos and Abuja. The accident occurred during the return leg of the second trip. DAN 992 was on final approach for runway 18R at LOS when the crew reported the total loss of power. According to interviews, the flight arrived in ABV as Dana Air flight 993 about 1350. According to Dana Air ground personnel, routine turn-around activities occurred, including refueling of the airplane. DAN 992 initiated engine startup at 1436, taxied to the runway and was later airborne at 1458 after the flight had reported that it had a fuel endurance of 3.5 hours. Shortly after takeoff, DAN 992 reported 1545 as the estimated time of arrival at LOS as the flight climbed to a cruise altitude of 26,000 ft. DAN0992 made contact with Lagos Area Control Center at 1518 hours. The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) retained about 31 minutes of the flight and starts
The airplane crashed in a residential area about 5.8 miles north of LOS. The airplane wreckage was on approximately the extended centerline of runway 18R. During the impact sequence, the airplane struck an incomplete building, two trees and three buildings. The wreckage was confined, with the separated tail section and engines located at the beginning of the debris field.
about 1515 at which time the captain and first officer were in a discussion of a non-normal condition regarding the correlation between the engine throttle setting and an engine power indication. However, they did not voice concerns then that the condition would affect the continuation of the flight. The flight crew continued to monitor the condition and became increasingly concerned as the flight transition through the initial descent from cruise altitude at 1522 and the subsequent approach phase. DAN 992 reported passing through 18,100 and 7,700 ft, respectively, at 1530 and 1540 hours. After receiving a series of heading and altitude assignments from the controller, DAN 992 was issued the final heading to intercept the final approach course for runway 18R. During the period of 1537 and 15:41 the flight crew engaged in pre-landing tasks including deployment of the slats, and extension of the flaps and landing gear. At 15:41:16 the first officer (FO) inquired, “both engines coming up?” and the captain (Capt) replied “negative.” The flight crew subsequently discussed and agreed to declare an emergency. At 1542:10, DANA 992 radioed an emergency distress call indicating “dual engine failure . . . negative response from throttle.” At 1542:35, the flight crew lowered the flaps further and continued with the approach and discussed landing alternatively on runway 18L. At 1542:45, the Capt reported the runway in sight and instructed the FO to raise the flaps up and 4 seconds later to raise the landing gear. At 1543:27 hours, the Capt informed the FO “we just lost everything, we lost an engine. I lost both engines”. During the next 25 seconds until the end of the CVR recording, the flight crew was attempting to restart the engines. The airplane crashed in a residential area about 5.8 miles north of LOS. The airplane wreckage was on approximately the extended centerline of runway 18R. During the impact sequence, the airplane struck an incomplete building, two trees and three buildings. The wreckage was confined, with the separated tail section and engines located at the beginning of the debris field. The airplane was mostly consumed by post crash fire. The tail section, both engines and portions of both wings, representing only about 15% of the airplane were recovered from the accident site for further examination. The two flight recorders, the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR) were analysed at the facilities of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Washington, D.C., USA. The solid state based memory in the CVR was in good condition and retained 31 minutes of audio information. The digital tape based memory in the FDR succumbed to the post crash fire
and melted, consequently no data could be recovered. The captain, age 55, held an airline transport pilot license with type ratings in the A-320, DC-9, FK-28, and SF-340. He had over 18,116 hours of total time, including 16,416 hours of pilot-in-command time (PIC). The captain had 7,461 hours in the accident model airplane all of which was as PIC. He was employed with Dana Air on 14 March 2012. He began flying line operations for the company in late May 2012 and had since accrued over 120 hours of flight time. The captain had acquired about 3, 78, and 116 flight hours, respectively, in the preceding 24 hours, 30 and 90 days. The first officer, age 34, held a commercial pilot license he was type rated in MD-83. He had 1,143 hours of total time, including about 200 hours as pilot-in-command. The first officer had 808 hours in the accident model airplane all of which was second-incommand. He had been previously employed with Dana Air as the Director of Cabin Service before he was hired as a pilot about January 2011. The first officer had
wreckage, review of maintenance records and other historical information of the aircraft, documentation of the training and experience of the flight crew, determination the chronology of the flight, review of recorded data, reconstructing the aircraft refueling, and collection of related fuel samples, and interviews of relevant personnel. Future investigative activities will include, but is not limited to, the detailed examination of the engines, further testing of fuel samples, continued factual gathering of relevant historical, operational, maintenance and performance information of the accident airplane in addition to other similar airplane models, further development of the background of the flightcrew, further analysis of the CVR audio recording and review of pertinent issues associated with regulatory oversight. As the State of Occurrence, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has instituted an investigation in accordance with the standards and recommendations specified in the provisions of Annex 13 of the
accrued about 3, 42, and 154 flight hours, respectively, during the preceding 24 hours, 30 and 90 days. The airplane was manufactured in 1990 and according to maintenance records it had accumulated 60,846 hours (35,219 cycles) of total time. The left and right engines respectively had 54,322 (30,933 cycles) and 26,025 (12,466 cycles) hours of total time since new. A review of the aircraft technical logs did not reveal of the previous 30 days did not indicate a condition. The airplane had last undergone maintenance on 1st June 2012, and after a return to service flight on 2nd June 2012, it was operated on four revenue flights (two round trips between LOS and ABV) and another four flights on 3rd June 2012. Fueling records indicated the airplane was uplifted with 8000 lbs of fuel before departure from ABV. The flight crew reported to ATC they had 26,000 lbs of total fuel. Preliminary analysis of fuel samples from the refueling truck and the supply tank at ABV were negative for contamination. The investigative activities have included, in part, visual examination of the aircraft
International Civil Aviation Organization. As the State of manufacture of the airplane and engine, a US Accredited Representative has been appointed and assisted by US technical advisors from the NTSB, US Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing Airplane Company, and Pratt & Whitney Engines. In accordance with Annex 13, “the sole objective of the investigation of an accident or incident shall be the prevention of accidents and incidents. It is not for the purpose of this activity to apportion blame or liability.” Accordingly, the AIB with the participation of the parties, including the NCAA, will seek to identify any areas of safety concerns during the investigation and implement the appropriate actions for correction or improvement. The content of this report is based on preliminary information. The Bureau will continue to conduct the investigation in a meticulous and methodical manner and release facts as they become validated.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Insight Rise of Ethno-Religious Settlements and National Security By Dr. MUHAMMAD KABIR ALIYU
t is a pity that the so-called ethnoreligious conflicts that have bedevilled the northern states, especially the central zone, for nearly two decades today and on which the affected states and the Federal Government have so far refused to take decisive punitive actions, are now threatening to engulf the entire country. Whether by design or accident, the “Boko Haram” insurgency which is increasingly proving to be championed by both Muslim and Christian elements, as many of the arrests have proven, is now used as the launching pad for catapulting Nigeria into the orbit of full-blown pseudoreligious conflict. We say 'pseudo' because all these years religion has only been used in this country as a camouflage or façade for what are actually personal political and economic pursuit driven by the overriding greed and ambitions of some politicians and their surrogates. Beginning from the early 1980s such pseudo-religious movements with Islamic coloration started with the Maitatsine saga in Kano which quickly spread like wild fire to Kaduna, Borno and then Gongola states, devouring large number of mainstream Muslims who were dismissed as unbelievers
Air Marshal Petirin Chief Defence Staff by Muhammadu Marwa (Maitatsine), the founder of the movement. Since then the country has witnessed the emergence of various sects claiming Islamic orthodoxy, the current Boko Haram reigning supreme. However, it is pertinent to recall that but for the quick intervention about two years ago by the Governor of Niger state, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, in the development of a veritable religious settlement somewhere near Mokwa in Niger state, this country might have witnessed something worse than
Boko Haram. It was his forceful dispersal of that settlement with 3000 sectarian inhabitants that saved Niger state and even the Federal Capital Territory next door of the possibility of being the epicentre of faithbased armed insurgency which, unlike Boko Haram, would have been anchored to a territorial stronghold. Unfortunately, however, the Governors of Kaduna state from Makarfi to Yakowa, who have been facing serious sectarian disturbances have not realized or are slow to appreciate the long term consequences of the development of what are becoming exclusively religious settlements right under their noses. This process started way back in 2002 as a result of the so-called ethnoreligious conflict in the state. Many Christian inhabitants, especially from the southern part of the state, moved to Kaduna South. Particularly settlements like Rigasa and Tudun Wada were vacated by Christians and they have virtually become exclusively Muslim enclaves. This led to the emergence of Sabon Tasha, Abuja Junction and Gonin Gora as principally and exclusively Christian enclaves. Apparently, the Kaduna State Government refused to intervene to make sure that the warring factions were
Col Sambo Dasuki NSA reconciled and refugees returned to their homes. Now this situation has instilled what is now clearly a permanent enmity between the Christian elements of not only Kaduna metropolis and their Muslim compatriots but similar divide is also presently defining the relationship between all Muslims and all Christians in Kaduna State and even beyond. So much so that whenever any socio-political crisis erupts under the guise of religion, whether in the state or elsewhere, the new settlements established by the Muslim and
Christian elements at places like Rigasa, Gonin Gora, Marraban Rido, Sabon Tasha, Abuja Junction and all other settlement dominated by a particular religion, automatically become killing fields for any innocent Muslim or Christian who happen to be in that vicinity as a traveller passing through, businessman in the area or lives there as a minority. The case of Gonin Gora is particularly catastrophic both for the inhabitants of Kaduna state and other people in Nigeria whether citizens or foreigners. This is because the settlement and its satellite villages along the Kaduna-Abuja dual carriage highway have become not only a centre of armed robberies but also a killing field for the robbers and murderers disguising as Christian militia who block the highway even on the slightest disturbance in the Northern states. Their common tactics are to rob travellers, kill them and burn their vehicles or throw their dead bodies into wells to destroy evidence. This is unacceptable to any true religion. This trend was noticed since the time of the Abacha administration and the then Federal Government directed the Makarfi administration to dismantle the settlements and the inhabitants dispersed to guarantee
The case of Gonin Gora is particularly catastrophic both for the inhabitants of Kaduna state and other people in Nigeria whether citizens or foreigners. This is because the settlement and its satellite villages along the Kaduna-Abuja dual carriage highway have become not only a centre of armed robberies but also a killing field for the robbers and murderers disguising as Christian militia who block the highway even on the slightest disturbance in the Northern states. unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue in Kaduna State and even in other states in the north like in Jos Plateau, Bauchi and Gombe, just to mention a few. To achieve true reconciliation and security, the governments at all levels must not allow its citizens to live according to their ethnic groups or religions. We must continue to live with one another in peace as admonished by the faiths that we claim to follow. People must be allowed to live anywhere they wish
MD Abubakar IGP the safety of life and property on this very important highway linking most of the Northern states and the FCT, but little or nothing was done. Recently after the unfortunate attack on churches in Zaria and Kaduna, the criminals, disguising as Christian militia have again killed several people and burnt vehicles leading to other senseless attacks on Christians by hooligans and criminals disguising as Muslim militia in Kawo and other areas of Kaduna. This trend is
to live as citizens and as human beings. It is only the Government that can ensure that either such settlements are dismantled or made to accommodate all in other to balance the situation to foster reconciliation, brotherhood and security. We cannot build a united and peaceful country in a situation where ethno-religious nationalism are encouraged by government even in the manner our settlements are patterned. Dr. Muhammad Kabir Aliyu is ASUU Chairman, ABU Zaria.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Insight How US Congress, CAN Leader, Blasted US Govt. Over Boko Haram Stance By EMPOWERED NEWSWIRE
resident Barack Obama's administration and the US government came under doublebarreled pressure and verbal attacks Tuesday afternoon at the US Congress over its attitude towards Boko Haram, the Nigerian terror group it has restrained from labelling a Foreign Terrorist Organization, FTO. While the Republican Chairman of the US House Sub-Committee on Africa, Congressman Christopher Smith led the hearing in lampooning the US government on the one hand, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor gave what many including US media reports have considered a bold and blunt assessment by a foreigner before the US Congress on the issue of Boko Haram. For instance he told the US Congress that by merely naming some of the Boko Haram leaders as terrorists without designating the group as an FTO, the US State Department fell short. "This would be the equivalent of designating Bin Laden as a terrorist, but failing to designate Al Qaeda as a terrorist organization," Oritsejafor said bluntly as the US Assistant Secretary Ambassador Johnnie Carson, who represented the Obama administration at the hearing sat and watched, having spoken first defending the US decision. Also on several instances at the hearing the Sub-Committee chairman Congressman Smith asked the US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, why the executive arm of the US government did not designate Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization. He even described as an insult and rejected the oft-repeated excuse of the State Department that the Boko Haram thrives on social and economic problems in the northern part of Nigeria, insisting that “ideology,” is more of an explanation than poverty. His words: “ideology that is highly, highly radicalized may exploit poverty at times, but poor people do not necessarily become terrorists and killers. That is an insult, frankly, to poor people.” The CAN leader agreed with the Congressman saying "this is not about economics but about an ideology that has a history of sponsoring genocide across the globe.” According to US Congressman Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, the US and the international community have not been doing enough on confronting Boko Haram, while identifying with the CAN president that indeed Boko Haram attacks have focused on Christians. Smith who presided over the hearing said “attacks by the Nigeria Islamic group Boko Haram on Christians, including attacks launched this past weekend, are absolutely unprovoked, and they are unconscionable.” Continuing he added that “people of all faiths, and all people of goodwill must demand immediate action against the terrorist organization.” On his own part, the CAN president
argued forcefully that “since its creation, the Boko Haram network has never hidden its agenda or intentions. Boko Haram has openly stated that they reject the Nigerian State and its Constitution and seek to impose Shari'ah law.” Pastor Oritsejafor said it was hypocritical of the US government to refuse designating Boko Haram, an FTO. His words: "by refusing to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization, the United States is sending a very clear message, not just to the Federal Government of Nigeria, but to the world – that the murder of innocent Christians, and Muslims who reject Islamism, and I make a clear distinction here between Islam and Islamism, are acceptable losses.” Continuing he asserted that "it is hypocritical for the United States and the international community to say that they believe in freedom and equality, when their actions do not support those who are being persecuted.” Calling Boko Haram's actions “a systematic campaign of terror and violence,” the outspoken CAN leader submitted that the group's activities is "outright terrorism.” According to him, Boko Haram's intent is to exterminate western influence in Nigeria and end Christianity in the country, wondering how such could be seen as legitimate political activity or the airing of grievances. "A non-designation for the group only serves to hamper the cause of justice, and has emboldened Boko Haram to continue to strike out at those who are denied equal
protection under the law," Oritsejafor declared. The CAN leader lamented the loss of lives in Nigeria due to Boko Haram, and also warned the US of the dangers to the international community posed by the group. His words: "In Nigeria, my people are dying every single day, and it is only a matter of time before the international terrorist links and anti-democratic Islamist agenda of Boko Haram turns its attention to the United States. In fact, this may already be a reality, in April of 2012 the NYPD learned that a U.S. resident living on the East Coast had sent surveillance, including maps and photographs of lower Manhattan and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels to an alleged member of Boko Haram based in Nigeria.” The CAN leader added that although the designation of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization is not the final solution to all of Nigeria's problems, yet it is an important first step towards restoring the confidence of those who support freedom and equality in the eyes of the law. "We too, want to have freedom, freedom of religion, freedom to worship as we choose without fear, we want to have justice, based on equality and not driven by discriminatory religious practices. In his own presentation, the US Assistant Secretary Carson repeated the same lines of the US executive arm that Boko Haram thrives on poverty. Said he "Boko Haram capitalizes on popular frustrations with the nation's leaders, poor government, ineffective service delivery, and dismal
living conditions for many northerners.” Although he repeated US's condemnation of Boko Haram attacks, he urged the US Congress to be cautious saying "before we prescribe actions, it is important that we understand what Boko Haram is and what it is not. The truth is that our understanding is limited at best.”
In Nigeria, my people are dying every single day, and it is only a matter of time before the international terrorist links and antidemocratic Islamist agenda of Boko Haram turns its attention to the United States. In fact, this may already be a reality, in April of 2012 the NYPD learned that a U.S. resident living on the East Coast had sent surveillance, including maps and photographs of lower Manhattan and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels to an alleged member of Boko Haram based in Nigeria.”
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Compiled by SADIQ ABUBAKAR
Borno First Lady Disburses N100m to Rural Women …Distributes N75m worth of materials to poorest of the poor
themselves through empowerment which is in line with the MDGs programmes on women, the scheme was initiated and flagged off. According to her, the first step of the scheme is empowering the vulnerable in our midst through cash support and assistance and skills items, while assuring that the state government will do everything possible to empower women in the state at all levels and also protect every child. She urged the beneficiaries to make proper use of the cash and items while assuring that other women will also benefit soon as the scheme is a continuous one. The First Lady further called on women and children in the state to continue to be law abiding and prayerful for
peace and harmony to return to the state. It was also gathered that the exercise was organized by the office of the First Lady in collaboration with the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development as well as Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Youth Empowerment. However, details of the breakdown of the cash disbursement is N25,000 to women whose list was forwarded to the committee through the ANPP Political party in MMC and Jere LGC while N50,000 is being disbursed to women selected randomly by the committee in all the wards of the two LGCs and the items are strictly meant for the skilled women to improve their businesses.
Borno: Zanna Dujima Calls for the lifting of Curfew, State of Emergency
s the month of Ramadan approaches, an Elder Statesman in Borno State, Alhaji Zanna Bukar Umaru Mandara, the Zanna Dujima of Borno has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to as a matter of urgency lift the state of emergency and curfew imposed on the state over 6 months ago. The elder statesman who has been silent for sometimes now due to his ailment that brought him down few months ago stated this in a press release that was made available to newsmen in Maiduguri. According to him, since the six months state of emergency period have elapsed, the president should through the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the state lift the curfew to enable people perform
their Ibada ( worship) peacefully and comfortably during the Holy Month of Ramadan without fear. ''This is because the people of Borno both men and women, young and old have been suffering from the curfew for the last 6 months. Kano that suffered worst attacks than Borno from Boko Haram, their curfew has been lifted from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm and later from 6 am to 10:00 pm and now 12 am to 6:00 am. Why is it that the people of Borno are still suffering from the curfew? It is high time in my own opinion for the curfew to be lifted entirely'', the elder statesman stated in the release. The Zanna Dujima also appealed to the members of the Boko Haram sect to lay down
their arms and embrace dialogue offered to them by the Federal Government. While commiserating with the people of the state over the Boko Haram crises, Mandara lamented that the crises have grounded business activities in the state, adding that neighbouring countries like Chad, Niger and Cameroon Republics are reluctant to come to Maiduguri. The elder statesman also appealed to President Jonathan to come to the aid of the people by creating Special Intervention Fund to the state government on security. He condemned a statement recently credited to the Senate President, Chief David Mark that the country will be divided, if elders of the North did not act on the Boko Haram crises.
Fertilizer Diversion: Gov Shettima to deal with Corrupt LG Bosses … As Borno flags off 2012 Fertilizer Distribution at 70%Subsidy per bag
overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has in strong terms warned Local Government Council Chairmen in the state to shun any act of diverting government fertilizer meant for the rural farmers in their localities that will be distributed to the people through the State Distribution Committee in each of the 27 LGCs of the state. The governor also announced a 70% Subsidy on each of the fertilizer bag meant for the farmers in the state while flagging off the 2012 Fertilizer Distribution held in Damboa town of Damboa Local Government Area of the state. According to him, in the past, fertilizer meant for the state have been diverted or found their ways into the neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republics, vowing that, any chairman or any government official found diverting the commodity will be severely dealt with. He said his government in addition to the 14,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer procured by the
Hajj Commission urged to takeover Allocation By SADIQ ABUBAKAR he National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has been urged to centralize the allocation of pilgrims to air carriers to ease operational difficulties during hajj. Independent Hajj Reporters, a nongovernmental organization made this call in a statement issued in Abuja signed by its national secretary Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammed and publicity secretary Mahmoud Abubakar. Several hiccups cropped up during the airlift of pilgrims “because state pilgrims welfare boards were allowed to allocate pilgrims' to air carriers which brings about politics, unhealthy competition, corruption among other avoidable difficulties,” the organization said. To rid hajj operations of this unhealthy trend, “NAHCON must intervene as a regulator to minimize logistics and other operational bottlenecks created as a result of unhealthy competition that emanate from allowing the state pilgrims welfare boards to allocate pilgrims to air carriers. It said that “screening and selecting of air carriers is the sole responsibility of NAHCON. Therefore, allowing states pilgrims' welfare boards to choose and allocate pilgrims to air carriers screened and selected by NAHCON is not healthy for smooth hajj operations.” The group said that “after passing through elaborate screening and meeting other requirements, air carriers are made to lobby and sometimes forced to bribe their way before state pilgrims' welfare boards allocate pilgrims to them. There are allegations that air carriers resort to lobbying that entails all forms of unwholesome practices in order to get bigger allocation from states.” The NGO said that “allowing NAHCON to handle the allocation of pilgrims as stated in the NAHCON establishment act 2006 section 4, item (4i – iii) will reduce or delete serious challenges bedevilling pilgrims' movement.” This, the NGO said, “creates additional logistics problem for the carriers. For example, an airline with pilgrims in 12 states will need to create 12 coordinating centers with enough manpower and other resources. Challenges of time schedule, adequate manpower will be enormous in such circumstances. This, in turn, results into unnecessary delay and in some instances, outright cancellation of flight schedules that brought untold hardship to pilgrims.” In other countries like Pakistan and India, the responsibility of allocating pilgrims to air carriers lies with Pakistan Hajj Commission and Indian Hajj Commission respectively. That is why their movements during hajj operations are devoid of hiccups compared to what obtains in Nigeria. “Unless NAHCON lives up to its responsibility by taking over pilgrims' allocation to airlines as enshrined in its Act, hajj operation especially in the area of pilgrims' evacuation will continue to pose a serious challenge in future,” it said. Meanwhile, the NGO also commend states of Borno, Lagos, Bauchi, Niger, Sokoto, Nasarawa and FCT for securing standard accommodation for their pilgrims for hajj 2012. “We appreciate the gesture of these states for securing a befitting accommodation with close proximity to Haram. This is a welcome development that will go a long way to ease the difficulties encountered by Nigerian pilgrims,” the group said.
orno State First Lady, Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima in meeting up with the MDGs programmeof implementation in the state on hunger, poverty eradication and women empowerment, has disbursed the sum of N100 million to 5000 women at the ratio of between N25,000 and N50,000 cash, to rural women. Similarly, poverty alleviation items worth N75 million have been distributed to another set of 5000 women to improve their petty trading businesses. Items distributed include 1000 sewing machines, 1000 knitting machines, 2000 grinding machines and 1000 water pump machines. Others include 50 Hursting Machines [Surfe], 1000 cooking pots, 1000 trays and spoons which are expected to be distributed to the selected women from all the wards of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council [MMC] and Jere LGC through the over 300 Bulamas [Village Heads] of the Local Government Areas. Flagging off the disbursement and distribution exercises at the Multi Purpose Hall of the Government House Maiduguri at the weekend, Hajiya Nana Kashim said she was compelled by the plight of womenfolk in the state, especially, the rural women who are highly vulnerable and exposed to abject poverty, cannot afford three square meals per day and over-loaded with high demand of responsibilities to their children and husbands among others without any assistance or support. She added that as part of measures adopted by the present administration of Governor Kashim to tackle poverty among women and make them more skillful and useful to
Pilgrims' Air Carriers:
federal government has procured 10,000 metric tonnes of fertilizer to be sold at the cost of N2,000 for NPK and N1,900 for Urea at 70%subsidy per each bag. The governor further noted that government is all about people and that his administration will do everything possible to better the lives of its people, stressing that, in the month of August 2012, a High powered State Delegation/team will visit India , China and Thailand with a view to explore modern way of improving agriculture in the state. Earlier in his remark, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Usman Zannah said that government has already procured and distributed over 10,000 metric tonnes of seeds free of charge to be distributed to farmers across the 27 Local Government Areas of the state. He said the ministry has also bought over N5 million Access Wheat Seeds from rural farmers through the Chad Basin Development Authority [CBDA] and also distributed 2000 bags of
fertilizer to the Lake Chad Irrigation Farmers in Marte LGA of the state. Alhaji Zannah further stated that government has also trained 400 Extension Workers in addition to the 300 it had and 100 youths have been sent to Thailand and Port Novo for training on Agriculture, pointing out that, more youths are going to be sent to Pakistan and China for training on Agriculture. In his welcome address, the State Chairman, Agricultural Transformation Committee who is also Honourary Adviser to Governor Kashim on Agriculture, Engineer Ibrahim Ali said that the team has short, medium and long term plans for agricultural transformation of the state, pointing out that, procurement of seeds, seedlings and fertilizer for the short term of the plan. He added that in order to ensure prudent and accountable distribution of fertilizer to reach the right farmers while disclosing that the team constituted state, local government and ward Distribution Committees and that the team will consider and distribute maize and millet seeds free of charge to farmers in Southern and Northern Borno respectively.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Business News Compiled by Idris Chado Abdullahi
Jaiz Bank seeks national status J
aiz Bank, a non-interest bank, on Wednesday in Abuja announced plans to raise N8 billion to enable it acquire the status of a national bank. Umaru Mutallab, Chairman of its board, told shareholders at the bank's 9th annual general meeting that the fund would be raised through two separate private placements. "I want to seek your permission and support so that we apply to all the relevant regulatory bodies to raise the share capital to eight billion naira to obtain a national license.
"This will be done in two separate private placements, one of which will be through the Islamic Development Bank because they have been part of this way back since the 1990s,'' he said. Muttalab said that the bank would also sell shares to prospective investors at N1.50k per share. He said that the bank needed the license within a short time. Mutallab, a former Chairman of First Banks Nigeria, said that the bank planned to have branches across the country, especially in industrial cities of Lagos, Ibadan, Benin,
Enugu and Sokoto. "We want to use this medium to commend the Central Bank of Nigeria for the regulatory framework for non- interest banking in Nigeria and for issuing the company a banking licence. "We hope that it would equally address the issues of taxation and liquidity management for non- interest banks in no distant time,'' he said. Mohammed Mustapha, the managing director of the bank, said that the bank was built on strong fundamentals of ethics, fairness, objectivity and transparency.
"The bank actually offers all the products and services offered by the conventional banks except dealing in interest. "And it is available to all, irrespective of race or religion. It is all about building partnership for mutual interests,'' he said. Jaiz Bank got its regional license from the CBN on Nov.11, 2011 and commenced operations on Jan. 6, 2012 in Abuja, Kano and Kaduna. It currently has technical partnership with IBBL of Bangladesh as well as support and equity investment from Islamic Development Bank
2013 Budget Will Be Void Of New Projects-FG
Corruption Is Nigeria’s Fastest
Kaduna Refinery Now Produces 3.5m Barrels Daily, Says MD
he acting Managing Director of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), Alhaji Idi Muktar, has said that the facility has been producing 3.5 million litres of petroleum products daily since its turnaround maintenance was effected, representing 70 per cent of its total capacity. He told newsmen in Kaduna that textiles, soap, detergent and other industries, which depended on the by-products of the refinery, may soon bounce back. According to him, “this refinery is capable of producing 16 by-products from the refining of our crude oil and imported ones, but unfortunately with the closure of the refinery for almost five years, these industries had no choice but to shut down operations. “The good news now is that we have produced enough to start supplying them on a sustainable basis. We now have
enough Kero-Solvent, a clear liquid consisting of a mixture of hydrocarbons for detergent industries. “We are just waiting for permission to start allocating them. Also, our Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants in Kaduna and
environs would start getting their supply from here. “We also have plenty stock of asphalt for road construction and sundry services. The textiles industries in Kaduna that have been shut down because of power problems should breath back to life because we can now supply them with the much needed Lou Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO). Furfural, much demanded in the solvent and lubricating industries is also now available,” Muktar said. He stated that apart from petrol, diesel and Kerosene for local consumption, other products were also critical to the Nigerian economy, adding that it made KRPC the biggest single investment in the entire Northern Nigeria. Muktar however, called on Nigerians to have faith in the NNPC, noting that there were very positive developments at the Kaduna facility.
o new project proposal from the federal ministries, departments and agencies will be approved in the 2013 fiscal year. The federal government announced this through the Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Dr. Bright Okogu, who said this on Tuesday at a consultative meeting on the 2013 budget with the Organised Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations in Abuja. “The fiscal consolidation efforts would be sustained because there is need for prudence in the management of public financial resources. Given resource constraints, we propose the following strategy to allocate capital vote; no new project will be allowed in the 2013 budget. MDAs need to prioritise a few of their ongoing projects based on the projects’ internal rate of return and level of completion. Some MDAS with large debts may not receive capital votes as their allocations will be used to pay off their debts.” Okogu said. The Director General hinted sectors that will have high priority in the budget to include; security, power, works, agriculture, Niger Delta, aviation, health, education, transport and job creation would receive 80 per cent of the country’s capital vote in 2013. He said that the government was discussing with the National Assembly to reduce allocations for members’ constituency projects. Okogu said recurrent expenditure would be reduced in 2013 through rationalisation of agencies, recovery of excessive claims on subsidy and cautious benchmark of oil prices.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Semi-year review of macroeconomic indicators
By Idris Chado Abdullahi
Nigeria is not insolvent; W but might soon be P
residents don`t talk down their country; they try to exude confidence, especially in the era of hyper-globalization where even the most innocuous statements could cause panic in the financial markets. This may explain President Goodluck Jonathan's assurance at his media chat that Nigeria was not `broke`. 'If the country is broke, you won't see most of the investors running over themselves to invest in the country,' he contended. Nigeria technically broke? No, but the signs of an impending financial and economic storm are unmistakable. The two most poignant danger signals are the fuel subsidy budget and the likely continued decline in the price of crude oil, both of which will continue to deplete the nation's foreign reserves and depreciate the value of the naira. They will ultimately escalate inflation, stifle economic growth, and eventually kill Jonathan's 'Transformation Agenda'. Nigeria budgeted N888 billion ($5.55 billion) for its fuel subsidies in 2012, but the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Finance Ministry claim that N451 billions of it has already been spent on back payments for 2011. Finance minister and coordinating minister of the economy, Ngozi OkonjoIweala, says additional $4 billion or N620 billion was needed to ensure subsidy is paid. To do this, government must raid the $3.5-$4 billion excess crude account (ECA), resulting in a whopping N1.51 trillion going into paying for subsidy. The oil marketers – the main beneficiaries of the subsidy largesse – reportedly owe international banks another $3.4 billion (about N530 billion). If paid, this could push the subsidy payment this year to about N2.04 trillion. The NNPC is also covering additional cost of imports with opaque crude oil swaps. If the swaps are monetized, Nigeria could actually be spending more than 50 percent of its budget on subsidy. If about 70 percent of the 2012 budget is allocated to recurrent expenditures, then very little is left for capital expenditure, let alone funding critical planks of Jonathan's 'Transformation Agenda' like public infrastructure projects, education, and
healthcare. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and many economists have warned about the unsustainability of the subsidy, but government isn't listening. The nationwide shutdown by labour and civil society groups when subsidy removal was announced in January is still haunting it. Unfortunately, Nigeria doesn`t have much of a buffer against its oil-dependency in case of a severe global oil price shock – the ECA was $20 billion in 2007, and continues to be a cash cow for odious discretionary spending. Early this week, the North Sea Brent crude oil climbed back to $93.02, from its 21-month low of $88 on June 21. This uptake reflects renewed, but misplaced, optimism of an upcoming eurozone summit breakthrough. The rally may also be a function
“ President Goodluck Jonathan of the renewed tensions between Syria and Turkey; tightening supplies due to news of a widening impact of a strike by Norwegian oil workers (particularly as refinery runs increase following the spring maintenance period); the impending European Union embargo on Iranian crude-oil imports; and news of South Korea's halting of its import of Iranian crude oil indefinitely as of July 1. The long-term
Soaring inflation rate and returns on investment
nvestors in Nigeria may have been harvesting negative average returns on investment in the last ten years. This is because on the average, rate of return is lower than inflation which erodes asset values. ? This is inspite of the fact that in the last couple of months, rates in the money and bond markets have been on the uptrend, following restrictive monetary policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Investigation shows that until recently, inflation has been far above Treasury Bills and bonds yields. Returns on equities were fairly well, until the stock market downturn of 2008 but has been hovering between negative and 12 percent, since then. For example, data from Bloomberg and Renaissance Capital show that the Consumer Price Index (CPI), an inflation indicator, was 20.2percent in 2000 while three months Treasury bill rate was 12.8 percent. In 2003, inflation rate was 15.1 percent with three months TB at 9.4 percent. Three year bond yield was 11.5 percent, while 10- year bond traded at a yield of 11.7 percent. Further supporting the trend, a 10 year study by Vetiva Capital Management Limited, showed that although bond yields headed northwards with money market rates in Q4 2011, it has remained stuck at those levels since, with money market rates headed lower, since the start of 2012. The company examined the relationship between inflation and yields in average annualized manner for all T-bills issued in a given month, alongside readings in YoY headline CPI. The premise is that investors in T-bills will have every opportunity to
trajectory, however, shows relatively weak demand fundamentals, continued flow of heavy oil output from Saudi Arabia, and the continued threat of worsening relations with Iran. Last week, more than a dozen Nigerian oil cargoes were still unsold for July, just a week ahead of the expected announcement of new loading programmes for August. Nigeria's bleak future is being exacerbated by the escalating monthly loss of $1.2 billion or more to oil theft by criminal networks whose activities have expanded rapidly under the Jonathan administration. These fiscal revenue losses could renew pressure on the exchange rate, further accelerating the depletion of the nation's foreign reserve. CBN 'stable currency' dream would be an exercise in futility. Last
react, based either on expectation, or the actual reading, when they arrive mid-month. It's clear however from the report, that the two series bear very little relationship. Part of the revelation in the trend is that for much of the period (72% of the time) short term interest rates are actually below inflation (i.e. negative real returns) and sometimes significantly so (- 10.7ppts at the end of 2006). Vetiva Capital also conducted the same analysis with the maximum yields available on any T-bill for any given month, with much the same result which may have informed the CBN`s recent pursuit of positive real interest rates in its monetary policy formulation. The fear of inflation hitting 15 percent by the end of the year is raising apprehension in financial circles, with hopes that would successfully moderate inflation. Investment analysts are however not optimistic that the apex bank could achieved this. The pessimism is fuelled by pro inflationary policies like the increase in workers' salaries, partial deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector, raise in exchange rates and increase in electricity tariff. Vetiva Capital said the direction of inflation and rates would depend on what the MPC is likely to do in reaction to an uptrend in CPI. Dealers' expectation is that CPI readings will overshoot the committee`s target slightly. The prediction is that the MPC may not necessarily tighten money supply, leading to a yield uptrend. Market perception is that given likely funding pressures the government may face in the near to medium term, the CBN has some incentive to do just the opposite, despite renewed currency pressures.
Nigeria's bleak future is being exacerbated by the escalating monthly loss of $1.2 billion or more to oil theft by criminal networks whose activities have expanded rapidly under the Jonathan administration. These fiscal revenue losses could renew pressure on the exchange rate, further accelerating the depletion of the nation's foreign reserve. CBN 'stable currency' dream would be an exercise in futility.
week, Bismarck Rewane of Financial Derivatives Company Limited warned that the substantial loss in oil revenue could whittle Nigeria's external reserves to as low as $22 billion (covering just 3 months of imports) from its current value of $37 billion, forcing the CBN to sharply depreciate the naira to N165. Finbank Capital, another financial analysis firm, projects an interbank rate of N163 and N170/$ by end-2012 and end-2013, respectively. While it`s true that many foreign investors want a share of energy and infrastructure projects in Nigeria, foreign portfolio inflows into naira-denominated treasury bills and government bonds, which had accelerated earlier in the year, have fallen off lately, on the back of weakened global economic outlook, as investors take a flight to safety, exiting their holdings of about $5 billion in naira debt, for the traditional safe havens of choice like the dollar, US treasuries, German Bunds, and gold. The Debt Management Office's planned sale of N83.9 billion ($515 million) in debt (including up to N30 billions of 15.1 percent bonds due 2017) in the coming week may flop, despite yields on the existing 2017 notes rising seven basis points to a record high of 15.71 percent on June 25. These ominous signs may not be so apparent in Aso Villa, but the truth is that debt overhang could debase Nigeria`s credit rating, if the debts are not paid on schedule. Inflation, which slowed to 12.7 percent in May from 12.9 percent in April, is projected to peak at 14.5 percent in the third quarter, according to CBN. The lending rate has been inching up of late, to 28 percent officially, as against 26 (unofficial rate is between 29 and 30 percent). The CBN will resist easing up on the lending rate because higher inflation would finish the job started by depleting forex and depreciating naira exchange rate. Economic growth will be stifled, further draining the meager government revenue from non-oil sector. If these signs of impending perfect economic storm aren`t sufficient reasons for ending fuel subsidy in Nigeria, I don`t know what it is.
e are half way through 2012, and an analysis of economic indicators between January and June 2012 shows mixed outcome. The uncertainty in the global economy as a result of the European debt crises was a recurring theme throughout the first half of the year. The naira is down 0.23 percent year-to-date, versus the dollar, mostly as a result of the pullout of funds by offshore portfolio investors. There is also some naira weakness resulting from the fall in oil prices from its all-time highs reached earlier in the year. The naira closed the month trading at N162.67 to the dollar at the interbank market. Oil prices are down 27 percent from its March high of $126 a barrel, with Brent crude falling briefly below $90 a barrel last week on concerns about faltering global growth. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which struggled with controlling inflation for most of 2011, and ended up raising its Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 5.75 percent in 2011, has left the MPR unchanged at 12 percent in the first six months of 2012. This signals the CBN balancing its concerns about the potential negative fallout from the fragile global economy on Nigeria, and its fears about inflation. Nigeria's consumer price index (CPI) stood at 12.7 percent year-on-year in May, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the back of higher fuel and food costs. The CPI stood at 10.3 percent in December 2011. The increase in inflation is partially as a result of the 49.2 percent increase in the pump price of petrol, which came into effect in January 2012. A downside to the fuel subsidy removal however has been the fall in disposable incomes and consumption that helped to push Nigeria's gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate down to 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012, from the over 7 percent growth rate achieved in 2011. On the positive side, the partial cut in fuel subsidies has led to a noticeable fall in demand for foreign exchange by fuel importers due to the reduction in arbitrage opportunities. This has enabled the CBN to build up its reserves by 11.5 percent, since the beginning of the year. The dollar reserves stood at $36.7 billion as of June 28, according to data from the CBN, up from $32.9 billion in January. Nigerian short-term fixed income yields adjusted slightly lower (on the back of increased demand) in the six months period, while longer dated bond yields adjusted lower. The 364-day Treasury bills are down 1.88 percent for the period, and closed at 17.70 percent last week. The 5-year, 10-year and 20-year FGN bond yield are up 1.39 percent, 1.02 percent, and 1.14 percent, respectively. The adjustment in bond yields is leading to a normalization of the yield curve, which had been seriously inverted at the beginning of the year. Nigeria's financial services sector showed signs of strength in the first half of the year, as banks reported in March that revenue growth in the 2011 financial year were up mostly in doubledigit percentage figures. Non-performing loan ratios were better, and return on equity for the first quarter of 2012 is up at an average of 21.4 percent.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala (MINISTER OF FINANCE AND COORDINATING MINISTER)
To be continued next week
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Group Calls For Cooperation Against Polio By DANLAMI BAWA JAMAA KADUNA of wild poliovirus in 10 states including Borno, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Zamfara, o meet December 2012 target for Kebbi and Yobe compared to 25 cases in six eradicating polio in Nigeria, states recorded for the same period in 2011". governments, development partners He stressed that the situation becomes more and stakeholders must take necessary alarming considering that states such as steps, said the Team Leader of Journalists Niger and particularly Kaduna, that were Initiatives on Immunization Against certified polio-free for almost three years, Polio, JAP, Mr Kunle Sanni. have become re-infected, even as Kaduna According to him "instead of improving State currently battles with four cases of the and moving towards the set target of ending debilitating children disease in Ikara, Birnin polio in Nigeria by December 2012 we are Gwari and Sabon Gari local government areas. backsliding." Government at all levels, development He called for proactive measures to stem the rising tide of polio in the country following partners and other stakeholders including the increasing cases of wild poliovirus journalists, he noted, need to join hands (WPV) in Nigeria with 45 new cases together in stopping the spread of this scourge as the price of ending polio in recorded as at June 22 this year. Nigeria has continue to increase despite To address polio virus in Nigeria "Nigeria concerted efforts by all concerned. aimed at ending polio in the country by December 2012, may remain a mirage, as According to him, "if we fail to eradicate this the country has so far recorded 45 new cases disease soon, the country may find it
difficult to concentrate on other equally debilitating diseases affecting our children and women.” Similarly, according to a UNICEF report, in key infected states like Borno, Kano, Sokoto and Yobe more than one in three children has received less than four doses of oral polio vaccine. Nigeria contributes 90% to the polio burden in Africa and more than 50% of this year's cases worldwide. The UNICEF report added that Kano has the highest percentage of missed children (8.9%), followed by Kebbi (8.4%) and Sokoto (8.1%) just as 'child absent' remains the main reason for missed children, accounting for over 67% of the total number of missed children, while caregivers' refusals to vaccinate their children account for 24% of the total number of missed children during the May IPD.
Corruption Is Nigeria’s Fastest Growing Industry
Igala Community in Kaduna Honours Chief in Grand reception By DANLAMI BAWA JAMAA KADUNA he Grand reception for the new Chief (ONU) of Igala Community in Kaduna, Chief Joseph J. Daikwo, has been held at Women Multipurpose Centre, Kaduna, with a large turnout. During the occasion, the former Minister of State for Health, Architect Gabriel Adukwu, who is the Chairman of the event, expressed shock over the population he has seen and enjoined Igala people both at home and abroad to unite and shun violence capable of destruction and pave way for peace, progress, unity and development of Igala kingdom anywhere they find themselves. He articulated his appreciation to the former Chief of Igala, late Alhaji Ibrahim Negedu (of blessed memory) who has find it very important to bring the ideal and work tirelessly to unite Igalas especially in Kaduna. Architect Adukwu urged the new chief, Joseph Daikwo, to emulate the former and carry the people along with love, peace and enshrine the unity of Igalas and other tribes
in Kaduna. In his welcome address, the new Chief, Mr. Joseph Daikwo, thanked God for his appointment and coronation as the chief of Igala Community and ambassador of Attah Igala in Kaduna on the 17th November, 2011, by his Royal majesty, the Attah of Igala, Alhaji Aliyu Obaje, who feels him fit to pilot the Igala populace in Kaduna. He said Igalas are unique people anywhere in the world because of their honesty, love and are peaceful people, “they take sincerity, peace and love as a culture and that is why they hardly involve themselves in dubious or questionable character that would tarnish their image”. Adding that the reasons Igalas are always given responsibility is nothing but because of their bravery, trustworthiness, and reliability. Chief Daikwo urged his people to join hand with him in carrying out the task ahead of him and the Igalas to continue as loving and peaceful people as they are known. He said that nothing at all should divide them in spite of their religious differences, taking their minds to how they have been living
right from Igala land where both Christians and Muslims live and eat together despite the fact that they may have different religions in the same family and never a day they have anything like fighting each other. The ambassador of Attah Igala extends his earnest and warm greetings to the Governor of Kaduna State and the Commissioner of police for allowing them to carry on the grand reception without hesitation. He promised that Igalas will do its best to support the present administration in the state. Speaking at the occasion, President of Yoruba Community council, Northern States and Chairman non indigenes in Kaduna State, Chief Ganiyu Oguntoyinbo, commended the Igalas and urged the new chief to be a good ambassador such that his people will emulate him. He said from history, “there is no way you will talk about Igalas without mentioning Yoruba, given an instance of how both tribes speak and pronounce things in common, like 1, 2, 3 and so on”.
Study confirms uncircumcised boys' UTI risk By AMY NORTON aby boys who are uncircumcised have an increased risk of urinary tract infection whether their foreskin is "tight" or not, a study published Monday finds. Doctors have long known that baby boys who remain uncircumcised are more likely to get a urinary tract infection (UTI) than circumcised babies are. But their absolute risk is still low, said Dr. Alexander Sasha Dubrovsky, the lead researcher on the new study. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an uncircumcised boy has about a one in 100 chance of developing a UTI in his first year of life. The risk for a circumcised baby is one in 1,000. But doctors have wondered whether only certain uncircumcised boys might be at increased risk. Namely, those with a "tight foreskin" and a hardto-see urethral opening, explained Dubrovsky, of Montreal Children's Hospital and McGill University in Quebec, Canada. In theory, that could be the case, because the tighter foreskin may harbor more bacteria that could lead to a UTI. So Dubrovsky's team looked at the question by studying 393 baby boys who were sent to their hospital's ER for UTI testing. Of those babies, 309 were uncircumcised - about what the researchers expected since being uncircumcised is a known risk factor for infant UTIs, so those boys were more likely to be sent for testing. And the uncircumcised babies were indeed more likely to test positive for an infection: one-quarter did, versus five percent of the circumcised babies who got tested. But among the uncircumcised babies, there was no evidence that foreskin "tightness" mattered in their risk for infection. They had a higher UTI risk regardless of whether the urethral opening was clearly visible or hard to see. The findings are published online in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. In babies, UTIs are tough to recognize because they typically cause only vague symptoms, like a low fever or fussiness. Those same symptoms crop up with colds or other common childhood ills, and most babies with such symptoms do not have a UTI, Dubrovsky said. So doctors try to figure out which babies have an increased chance of a UTI and test them - instead of testing every infant with possible symptoms. That's largely because in order to get a clean urine sample from a baby, doctors usually have to use a catheter. “It's not a comfortable procedure,” Dubrovsky said. "So we want to minimize the number we do.” Circumcision is one of the factors doctors consider in deciding to test baby boys for a UTI. That is, their suspicion of a UTI is higher when a boy is uncircumcised. And based on the current findings, that shouldn't change, the researchers say. UTIs are usually not serious and can be easily treated with antibiotics. In some young children, though, repeat UTIs may be a sign of an abnormality in the urinary tract. And untreated infections could scar the kidneys. Dubrovsky stressed that the study was not set up to inform the debate over circumcision. Right now, the AAP does not recommend routine circumcision. There are some possible health benefits: besides the somewhat lower risk of UTI in infancy, circumcised boys may have a slightly lower risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, later in life. They also seem to have a lower risk of penile cancer, but that's a rare disease. The AAP does not consider those possible benefits strong enough to warrant routinely circumcising boys. “Our study doesn't answer any questions on the potential benefits of routine circumcision," Dubrovsky said. He suggested that parents talk with their doctors about the possible pros and cons of circumcision, then decide for themselves.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
N120m Property: Gov. threatens Estate Agent G
ov. Wammako threatens to Kill estate agent over N120 million Property Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, kicked, slapped and detained an Estate Agent after purchasing a House for N120 Million in Garki, Abuja and refusing to pay Estate Agent fees, a petition currently before the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, says. The Sokoto State Liaison officer, one Junaidu Haliru, who connived with State Government officials to deny Estate agents their fees, allegedly inflated the price of the Property located in Garki 2 Abuja from N110 Million to N120 Million. But the State Government through the Commissioner for Information, Mallam Danladi Bako said Governor Wamakko could not have stoop so low to be involved in such barbaric behavior. Bello Usman, the Estate agent, in a petition
currently being investigated by the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and exclusively obtained by Pointblanknews.com alleged that he was brutalized by Governor Wamakko, his Aide De Camp, ADC and Haliru at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja, when he demanded to be paid agency fees."While at the hotel, the ADC to the Governor held one of my hand and the State Security Service, SSS, officer in mufti held the second hand behind and the Governor slapped me on my face, kicked me and Alhaji Junaid Haliru joined hands in beating me in the presence of Abdullahi A. Arkilla Sokoto and the police officers from the X-Squad pushed me down and dragged me on the floor and subsequently taken to the FCT Police Command Headquarters." According to Usman, "sometimes in April 2011, Alhaji Junaidu Haliru the Sokoto State Liaison Officer, Abuja, approached
me that the Sokoto State Governor His Excellency Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko wanted to purchase a property within Garki Abuja. Though, I was not on ground to take him to the property but delegated
Over 20,000 Doctors Have Emigrated from Nigeria says FG
s Federal Government strives to improve healthcare delivery in the country, indications have emerged that Nigeria is now an exporter of doctors, nurses and other health workers to developed countries of the world. It is believed that 20,000 doctors who have migrated from Nigeria, with about 4,000 of that figure heading to the United States of America. This was made known Tuesday by the National Chairman, Association of Public Health Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr Obehi Okojie, at the induction ceremony for 103 graduates of foreign medical institutions and Igbinedion University, Okada, at the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN). Okojie lamented that these skilled workers have benefited from government funds to subsidise education, while some have been virtually trained free, yet are presently serving developed countries that contributed nothing to their education. According to Okojie who is also a Consultant Community Physician, University of Benin, “it
is a shame and retaining these expensivelytrained professionals has been identified as an issue government has to address seriously and urgently to reverse this ugly trend.” She said the Federal Government must provide an enabling environment to motivate the doctors so as to stem the tide of the brain drain especially in the health sector otherwise the country would be in danger. The university don observed that to achieve the MDGs, the country has to have in every place, doctors with the right skills, supported to do the right things for Nigeria. Also in his remarks, the acting registrar of the MDCN, Dr Udugbai Ilevbare, said that beginning from October this year, all graduates of foreign medical and dental training institutions desirous of practicing in Nigeria, regardless of country of training, must sit for and pass the council's Assessment examination, to be eligible to practice. He added that the foreign medical graduates must show evidence from the health regulatory bodies of the countries where they were trained that they are registerable and
could have practiced in those countries if they had wanted to do so. Ilevbare stated that “What it means is that if those who trained you as doctors permit or allow you to treat them as patients, we can also allow you to treat us without fear otherwise that type of medical education carries a moral burden and should be rejected.” The acting registrar disclosed that the council has also made participation in Continuing Professional Development activities as one of the conditions for the annual renewal of doctors' practicing licenses, while calling on the newly inductee to compulsorily participate in them to enable the renewal of their licenses and maintain their names on the MDCN register. “Council would continue to ensure that we do not unleash medical practitioners who are notwell trained on the society. I would advice that you continue to attend workshop programmes to ensure that you keep abreast with current developments in this profession,” the acting Registrar maintained.
Insecurity: Nigeria 'll lose respect amongst nations – Anyaoku
ormer Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has warned that the present security challenge in the country would diminish Nigeria's ability to command international respect. Chief Anyaoku who spoke while leading a delegation of the Presidential Advisory Council on Foreign Relations to present two books to President Goodluck Jonathan noted that the conditions in the country played a vital role on how the country is assessed internationally. He, however, commended government's effort at bring the situation under control. According to Anyaoku, “the insecurity in the land is a drag on our foreign policy no doubt, because our standing abroad depends on our domestic conditions. So to the extent that we have insecurity at home it is a draw back to our foreign policy. But I believe that government is determined to address insecurity and my hope their efforts will succeed.” “Nigeria's standing in the world has improved tremendously since the return of democracy to this country in 1999. Before then, Nigeria standing in the world was very poor. Since 1999 we have progressive increase
in Nigeria standing in the world and at this moment I believe that Nigeria is doing very well externally.” In his remark after receiving the two books presented to him, President Jonathan said the books will assist government functionaries in preparing for their responsibilities, describing the books as modern day student companion. He said it would be of help to Nigerian professionals, as well as the country's ambassadors. “These handbooks will be very helpful to prepare all of them (Ambassadors) to do what they are supposed to do and even for the professionals to constantly remind them about Nigeria's interest. Let me sincerely thank the chairman and members of this very noble committee, for the work they have been doing, especially this morning, these two books that are being presented. Jonathan said, “these documents are very relevant, because most people coming in as Presidents, Vice Presidents and sometimes even those who we appoint as Foreign Affairs Ministers and Ambassadors may not be too conversant with Nigeria's foreign relations'. These handbooks will be very helpful to
prepare all of them to do what they are supposed to do and even for the professionals to constantly remind them about Nigeria's interest. It is like the student companion. The two documents will be a companion of our diplomats that we are sending across the globe to represent Nigeria and of course my own companion, the companion of the Vice President, the foreign ministry, ministers and staff,” he said. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru said Nigeria's foreign policy thrust revolves around ensuring peace in the West Africa Sub-region and also unity in the African Union. “We are trying now to ensure the security of our sub-region and of course unity of the AU as a whole and in terms of specifics, the foreign policy is now one that is channeled towards the attraction of foreign investments into the country. We believe that foreign policy must be used to support domestic programmes of government because your primary responsibility is to ensure that there is peace, progress and economic development Africa and we are using our foreign policy today to support all government efforts in that direction.”
my business partners namely Williams and Dans who conveyed him (Alh. Junaidu Haliru) to the property at Garki." Usman revealed that "The property was offered at N110, 000,00.00 but the Liaison Officer added N10, 000,000.00 and finally the property was purchased by His Excellency, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko through his Liaison Officer Alhaji Junaidu Haliru at the rate of One Hundred and Twenty Million (N120, 000,000.00). Having inflated the price of Ten Million Naira only (N10, 000,000) to himself without the consent of His Excellency." "Although we held a meeting with the Liaison Officer Alhaji Junaidu Haliru and my partners Williams and Dans, about the payment of 5 per cent agency fees before the sale of the property and he assured us that our percentage would be given to us. But surprisingly, Alhaji Junaidu Haliru reneged in the verbal agreement and cheated us our dues and in a bid to demand for our percentage from him, he threatened to deal with me severely by any means. He also used the Police to dealt with us when we tried to see His Excellency on one of his visit to Abuja at the Sokoto State Liaising Office, Abuja." But Bako, the Commissioner for Information in a chat with Pointblanknews.com over the phone said the Governor never kicked, slapped or threatened Usman and could not have engaged in such act as a law-abiding citizen. Bako, a veteran Journalist said the property was purchased by the Sokoto State Government to accommodate Sokoto Liaison Office staffers who do not have accommodation and to also serve as a Lodge for members of the Sokoto State Government officials on a visit to Abuja. "It is not a personal property of the State Governor. The property was purchased to help ease out accommodation problems of Sokoto Liaison Office Staffers. It will also accommodate any official of the state who is on a visit to Abuja," Bako said. He however acknowledged the dispute between the Liaison officer and the Real Estate Agents but said the agents may have exaggerated the story, as the Governor was in nowhere involved in brutalizing Usman as alleged.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
News PROMINENT NEWS Gov Shettima to LG Chairmen:
Promote Polio Immunization or face Sack! ...Gives 10 LGCs one month ultimatum to secure and plant seedlings By SADIQ ABUBAKAR
orno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima has strongly warned Caretaker Committee Chairmen of the 27 Local Government Areas of the state, especially those from the northern part of the state to the issue of polio immunization seriously or risk losing their seats. The governor dropped the warning last week at a meeting with the Local Government Council Chairmen, traditional and religious leaders from all the 27 LGCs of the state on the 2012 Polio Campaigns which was held at the Multi-Purpose Hall of the Government House Maiduguri. Governor Kashim said: â€œAny chairman who fails to take the issue of polio immunization and tree planting with all seriousness is sending a death nail on his political careerâ€?. He further stressed that the government is going to fight desertification and endemic poverty through planting of 1 million seedlings of Gum Arabic across the 10 local governments of Northern Borno Senatorial District. Shettima also gave one month ultimatum to chairmen of the 10 local governments in Borno to secure and plant I million seedlings in their council, pointing out that he is going to visit the councils to access their performance on tree planting and immunization to serve as yardstick for measuring their performance. The governor explained that although some Council Chairmen are doing well, anyone of them who failed to plant I million seedlings will not come back as chairman again after the expiry of their tenure in few months time, lamenting that most of the LGC Chairmen are not holding their monthly Task Force Meetings on Polio Eradication. On the issue of traditional rulers, he directed the Local Government Council Chairmen to give N50,000 imprest to all District Heads in their Local Government Areas while promising to provide jeep vehicles to all the LGCs for the exercise and build places for them within two years, as they are the closest to the rural populace. Speaking earlier, the Borno State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salma Anas Kolo disclosed that the ministry is poised to see that polio is eradicated from the state and the country at large. He urged the local government council chairmen to involve their wives in the exercise of polio campaign, saying Borno remains one of the states still battling with polio, where five cases were recorded in Konduga, Jere, MMC, Mobar and Kaga, necessitating the need for synergy between the traditional and religious leaders, chairmen and health workers. In his remark, the State Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Baba Kaka Garbai said his ministry had organized the workshop to sensitize traditional and religious leaders on the need to eradicate polio in their localities and the state at large while commending the efforts of all stakeholders in the exercise and state government for its support.
Report: Poverty, Injustice Drive Nigeria's Sectarian Violence P
overty, inequality and injustice are threatening to trigger a broad sectarian conflict in Nigeria, an international Christian-Muslim task force said on Wednesday. Clashes between Nigerian Christians and Muslims have already killed hundreds of people this year alone. But although the violence is the worst between members of the two faiths since the Bosnian war of 1992-1995, the root causes go far beyond religion, the group's report said. Corruption, mismanagement, land disputes and the lack of aid for victims or punishment for troublemakers have all fuelled tensions, especially in Nigeria's "Middle Belt", where the mostly Muslim north meets the largely Christian south, it said. Attacks by radical Islamist groups such as Boko Haram that exploit these secular issues and revenge killings by Christian and Muslim gangs have reinforced the religious aspect of the violence, reports Reuters. "There is a possibility that the current tension and conflict might become subsumed by its religious dimension (especially along geographical 'religious fault-lines')," the report said, warning that blaming only religion for the strife would make that incomplete view "a selffulfilling prediction". The 12-member joint delegation was led by World Council of Churches (WCC) General Secretary Olav Fyske Tveit of Norway and Jordanian Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, chairman of the board of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. The report identified dozens of separate problems whose resolution could contribute to overall peace. The wealth gap between the oilproducing states in the south and the resource-poor north was a leading factor in regional tensions, as were land disputes such as the lack of recognized grazing land for nomadic Fulani cattle herders. Indigenous inhabitants in many Nigerian states enjoy more legal rights than "settlers," who have no access to free healthcare, education, land and jobs even though some of them moved into those areas generations ago. "It is an enormous problem that needs to be solved or resolved at the federal and constitution levels, perhaps with a constitutional clarification or amendment," the report said. It also said tensions arose because President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner, served out the presidential term of northern Muslim Umaru Musa Yar'Adua after the latter's death in 2010, then won election in 2011. Some Northerners say this broke a power-sharing agreement between north and south. But the report did say that religion itself had played a part in fuelling the violence. "In Nigeria, three things are intertwined -
religion, politics and ethnicity - and the three are beclouded with corruption, poverty and insecurity," the report quoted former justice minister Prince Bola Ajibola, one of several Nigerian officials who
interfaith cooperation for Nigerians to sign. They also said they would seek partners to launch a neutral center to collect accurate information on the conflict to help find a settlement.
President Goodluck Jonathan accompanied the delegation, as saying. Religious leaders on both sides have publicly condammed the violence, it said, and well-funded missionaries for both Islam and Christianity have also fanned tensions. The Geneva-based WCC and the Jordanian institute announced they would jointly publish books for Nigerian schools explaining the theology of peace in both religions and draw up a manifesto on
The joint delegation, which met government officials and faith leaders in the strife-torn Kaduna and Plateau states and in Abuja from May 22 to 25, said it wanted to show how Muslims and Christians could work together to foster peace. "The crisis in Nigeria must no longer be seen as a localized issue," the report said in its conclusion.
Former Italian Prime Minister seek political Come back
ormer Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should run in elections next year, the secretary general of his center-right People of Freedom Party said on Wednesday, increasing signs that the scandal-ridden ex-premier may seek a political comeback, reports Reuters. "There is a great movement of support for Berlusconi. So many people are asking him to stand and I am among them," party secretary Angelino Alfano told reporters at the margins of the annual conference of banking association ABI. "For someone who governed in such complicated years and who made way for a technocrat government without ever being defeated in parliament or losing an election, I think it is right and legitimate for him to seek the judgment of the Italian people.â€? Berlusconi left office in a cloud of scandal last year after a sharp worsening in Italy's financial crisis threatened to send borrowing costs spiraling out of control. The 75-year-old media magnate still faces trial on charges of paying for sex with an underaged prostitute but has made several comments suggesting he may be interested in a comeback, although has made no clear statement of intent.
Although the PDL lost heavily in local elections in May and has been shedding supporters steadily over the last year, Berlusconi has been increasingly targeting the troubled euro currency in a bid to regain popularity. He said on June 20 that Italy should consider leaving the euro unless Germany agrees to the European Central Bank acting as a guarantor for sovereign debt and printing money to reflate the economy.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
17th - 23rd July, 2012
News Best Planning School Award: Controversy Trails Commissioning of Zamfara Specialist Hospital By IFEANYI CHUKWU NWANNAH (GUSAU) arely six weeks after the official Commissioning of Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital in Gusau, the Capital of Zamfara State, the presence of equipment and manpower could not be seen due to lack of funds which has made it impossible for the operation of the hospital to take off. DESERT HERALD investigation revealed that Governor Yari, who was very optimistic that the hospital would commence operation as the centre for treatment of heart related diseases and surgery immediately after commissioning, is in a state of confusion. The hospital, which was commissioned by the Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, was initiated by the former Governor of Zamfara State, Aliyu Shinkafi, which over 80 percent of the work was done before he was thrown out of office but was commissioned by Governor AbdulAziz Yari, to mark his one year anniversary in office. Our correspondent gathered that the edifice is being gradually over taken by snakes and reptiles, showing palpable fears that the two ambulances stationed within the premises of the hospital are exposed to vandals due to lack of enough security operatives in the hospital. It was also learnt that no equipment has been installed yet as propagated by information managers of the state, adding that all the rooms are virtually empty, while the only thing visible are the two ambulances which everybody is seeing in the hospital premises, a source said. Continuing, the source said the solace derived is the hospital's nearness to the Nigerian Army Barracks in Tudun Wada, otherwise everybody has deserted the place after it was commissioned, the source added. Reacting on the issue, the state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Kabiru Janya'u, pointed out that the permanent site of the Federal Medical Centre in Gusau and all the Federal might have not been able to relocate all its departments few years after completion of the new site and wondered why people should be paying much attention on the delay of putting the Yariman Bakura Specialist hospital into full operation. “Remember we have a total of 22 general hospitals including rural health centres in the state that we are managing,” the commissioner said. It could be recalled that the hospital was initiated by former Governor Shinkafi as Millennium hospital which was awarded at the cost of N1.2 billion and was supposed to have been completed in the first quarter of 2008 but was eighty five percent completed before Governor Yari completed it. Our correspondent reports that the change of the hospital name from Millennium Hospital to Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital generated a lot of controversy as people say the hospital would have been renamed after former governor Shinkafi since he initiated the program.
ABU VC Thanks Toprec, Tetfund V
ice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, has thanked the Town Planners Registration Council (TOPREC) for its transparent assessment of the institution's Urban and Regional Planning Department and subsequently accrediting and declaring it as the best planning school in Nigeria. Speaking after receiving the 'best planning school award' at the weekend at NICON LUXURY Hotel, Abuja, venue of the award ceremony, the Vice Chancellor who was accompanied by all the management staff of the University, said winning the historic award is a thing of joy and pride not only to the Urban and Regional Planning department but the University as a whole and its Alumni. A statement signed by the media consultant to the Vice Chancellor, Mallam Waziri Isa Gwantu, said the Vice Chancellor also thanked management of
Laboratory in the Department, based on the progress it made on the implementation of the strategic plan the University worked out in 2004 in collaboration with the MacArthur Foundation. The Vice Chancellor also revealed that the department is on the verge of finalizing a memorandum of understanding with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) towards the application of the geospatial application programme. Professor Mustapha however promised to support other professional departments in the University so that they could work hard Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha to also win awards of their various professional bodies in the country. “This,” the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETF) he stressed, “is necessary if the University for coming to the aid of the Urban and must sustain its pace setting role in the Regional Planning department by offering academia”. it a special intervention of 30 million naira for the establishment of high tech GIS
MDGs Boss Plans Expansion of Projects
s part of its strategies to fast track the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs has finalised plans to scale up investments on MDGs related projects at the states and local Governments levels. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr Precious Kalamba Gbeneol made this declaration in Lafia, Nassarawa State, while on advocacy, sensitisation and projects assessment tour in the state. While addressing the governor at the government house, Gbeneol disclosed that her office plans to scale up the conditional grants scheme, CGS to more Local
This is in addition to the intervention through the CGS. Gbeneol noted that in the current phase of the programme, three local governments areas, namely: Toto, Akwanga and Obi are currently benefiting from the CGS to the tune of N100m each yearly. This is counterpart funded by the state and are channelled into projects such as primary health care in 90 locations, procurement and distribution of equipment to support PHC services in 90 locations, construction of VIP toilets in 90 locations and perimeter fencing for 90 primary health care centres. Gbeneol who seized the opportunity to pay an advocacy and sensitisation visit to key stakeholders in the state maintained that the
Corruption Is Nigeria’s Fastest Growing Industry Government Areas and consequently requested the governor to begin preparations to build capacity and keep apart some funds as counterpart contribution for the additional LGAs to be taken on in the next phase of its programme. According to her, MDGs has spent over N1.2 billion in providing social basic needs for the people of the Nasarawa state in 2011. “In 2011, Nasarawa state received the sum of over N1.2 billion with the state contribution half of the amount as counterpart funding.”
OSSAP-MDGs is not leaving any stone unturned in the quest to beat the target date of the global agenda. Particularly, Gbeneol visited the Governor of the state, Umaru Tanko Al Makura, his wife, Salamatu, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Musa Ahmed-Mohammed and the Emir of Lafia, Isa Mustapha Agwai. She also held a town hall meeting with the people to sensitise them on the need for them to own the projects, utilise and protect them. Gbeneol pleaded with the governor, Emir,
Speaker, the wife of the governor and other community leaders to use their positions to promote ownership of the projects by the people. “In view of your exalted position that holds sway on public opinion, I will be glad if you could encourage communities to access available maternal and child healthcare services in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality. Mothers should be encouraged to make their children available for immunization against the killer diseases. Kindly use your good offices to impress it upon communities that the projects delivered by the MDGs office belong to them and as such they need to take ownership for sustainability.” She said. She specifically used the opportunity to appeal to the state governors to enlighten communities on the need for them to participate in the process of planning, implementation, evaluation and maintenance of MDGs projects and programmes through a unique structure that have been put in place from the local government level to federal government level. “I request that you direct the instrument of government, including the media to canvass for the community ownership of MDGs project so as to allow sustainability,” she appealed. According to her, “Security can be provided by communities for such projects and minor repairs can be done without necessarily contacting government”. Responding, Governor Tanko Al-Makura, who stated that the ideology of the MDGs is an extension of his government's agenda, was full of praises for the MDGs boss for the developmental initiatives geared toward rural transformation. He assured that state government would continue to pay its counterpart funding, adding that MDGs gesture is complementing state government effort in bringing to the people the much needed dividends of democracy. The Emir of Lafia, while commending the strides of the MDGs in bringing development to the state noted that the MDGs projects are visible all over the state and are meeting the needs of the people. Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Musa Ahmed-Mohammed and the wife of the governor, Salamatu Al Makura also lauded the activities of the Gbeneol led MDGs office in the state.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Gov. Yari Goes Tough By IFEANYI CHUKWU NWANNAH (GUSAU) he recent controversy over the change of fertilizer price from N1,000 to N3,750 is generating a lot of tension in Zamfara State as the Governor went on air at the weekend to announce that his decision on the price is irrevocable. Speaking at the Zamfara Radio on a phone in program, Governor Yari said that his government will not continue to carry the responsibilities of full time farmers who make huge profit from farming, adding that mechanized farmers are using the privilege of the subsidy to amass wealth without even considering the plight of the common masses. Our correspondent learnt that there is public outcry and condemnation of Governor AbdulAziz Yari's action who promised during his electioneering campaigns in 2011 and sworn that a bag of fertilizer would be sold at the rate of N1,000 which our reporter gathered encouraged the farmers who are majority in the state to come out en-mass and gave him their mandate. Some of the people interviewed by our
correspondent said that the promises and assurances given by Governor Abdul Aziz Yari turned out to be inconsistent, adding that majority of farmers in the state are becoming tired of Governor Yari's administration. The growing apprehension came on the heels of the complaints tabled by people in the state before newsmen; saying that they are left in the dark in respect of programs that touched their lives especially when it comes to farming that is the pride of the state where almost everybody is a farmer. The people's apprehension was however informed by the fact that since the state government could disregard its vows on such a sensitive issue like the withdrawal of subsidy on fertilizer, their chances of enjoying the dividends of democracy is very slim. Even though the governor has not denied the report that subsidy on fertilizer had been Gov. Yari withdrawn, there is still controversy surrounding the whole issue as the state commissioner for information, Alhji Ibrahim should be pegged at the rate of N3,000 while Birnin Magaji, had said earlier that the the Governor himself is saying N3,750 per Governor had directed that a bag of fertilizer bag.
Non-performance Fallout: Lawmaker Escapes Death in Zamfara By IBRAHIM ADAMU KANOMA member representing Bungudu and Maru Federal Constituency of Zamfara state, Alhaji Ibrahim Sani Ruwan Doruwa last week escaped being lynched by angry supporters of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) for nonperformance in his constituency. The ANPP supporters who converged at the secretariat of Maru local government area during the swearing in ceremony of vice chairman and councillors of the council have attempted to beat him unless when the intervention of the soldiers for his lack of performance. They complained that the member has been making mendacious statements to the electorate that he will bring positive development in the constituency which according to them, never happened to touch the lives of ordinary citizens of the constituency. The ANPP chieftain in Maru told our correspondent that already arrangement have been concluded by the people of Bungudu and Maru Federal Constituency to recall the so-called member Alhaji Ibrahim Sani for lack of performance and neglecting his party ANPP, describing him as uneducated and inexperienced. Desert Herald learnt that the member has been in the federal house of assembly from 1999 to 2007 and was also re-elected in 2011 under the platform of ANPP, even though many people complained of his eight years as a member federal house of assembly for also not providing a true dividend of democracy in his constituency. Soldiers protected him from being beaten and stoned by the angry youths of ANPP who shouted at him threatening to teach him a good lesson. The angry youths stopped the lawmaker from making any remarks, condemning his attitude of womanizing and forgetting his electorate who sacrificed their lives during the then ruling peoples Democratic Party where sympathetic to ANPP is at always risk from being killed by the supporters of PDP members across the state. Desert Herald gathered that electorate of Bungudu and Maru Federal Constituency
were not happy with their member for his failure to meet up to their expectation or to at least provide potable drinking water to some villages of the constituency, unlike Gusau and Tsafe federal constituency where some villages have been provided with portable water by their representatives. Desert Herald also observed that what has caused Ibrahim Sani disgrace from the youths of his constituency may not be unconnected with his stingy that does not give out to the supporters of his party. Also a chieftain of the
party in Maru said Ibrahim Sani is only enriching himself and his cronies in Kano state and forgetting his people and the party which brought him to the exalted position. The supporter advised the government to monitor the conduct of such bad element in the party so as sanitize the ANPP to avoid confusion in the party. But when contacted Alhaji Sani Ibrahim said he does not share issues with anybody.
Illegal Deductions: Adamawa Prison Staff cry out! By MOHAMMED ISMAIL en of Nigeria Prison Service, Adamawa state Command have decried the manner in which their salaries are being unilaterally deducted without recourse to due process. Some men of the command interviewed by this reporter on condition of anonymity, alleged that, the arbitrary deductions was at the behest of the ACG Zone C Bauchi who is in charge of Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa states, Mallam Salihi Mohammed in collusion with the duo of inspector Amshi Mohammed Saleh and inspector Abdullahi Ali who conspired to be deducting their salaries on monthly basis, ostensibly for the servicing of motorcycle loans which they have already settled and deductions in respect of that transaction ought to have stopped way back in time. One of the officers claimed that from the first instance, the ACG Bauchi command erred when he conscripted the services of Inspector Amshi Mohammed Saleh and Inspector Abdullahi Ali to be fronting the business of acquiring and distributing the said motorcycles on his behalf, instead of engaging a competent businessman to do the said transaction. According to him, they never had a momentary respite since they acquired the
motorcycle loan, as deductions of their salaries continued unabated even after the loans have been settled in accordance with the terms of the loan. Another officer claimed that when the deductions became unbearable to him, he travelled to Bauchi to get the situation regularized after which the deductions momentarily stopped. â€œAfter I complained, the deductions stopped for sometime but now the deductions has resumed with full forceâ€? he added. The officer further said that it is criminal for higher officers to be conniving to shortchange junior ones whom are daily grappling with the vicissitudes of feeding their families, their legitimate earning. One officer was alleged to have collapsed on learning that his salary was slashed by half but was lucky to be in the midst of his family members who quickly revived him otherwise his story would have been different by now. In a telephone chat, the comptroller Nigeria Prison Service Adamawa State Command Andrawus Barka revealed to this medium that the issue of salary is beyond his capacity and refers this reporter to their headquarters in Abuja for verification as he added that he has no influence even over his own salary, let alone any member of his staff.
Our correspondent gathered that those who could not afford the N3,750 to purchase a bag of fertilizer keep on crying foul and calling for the restoration of the fertilizer subsidy to be affordable by all farmers in the state. The Governor pointed out that his administration spent N2.9 billion to procure fertilizer for the wet farming season this year, stressing that last year the government sold fertilizer to farmers on hire purchase basis amounting to over N360 million which he said is yet to be refunded to the government by the farmers, noting that such informed the idea to sell the fertilizer on cash and carry basis this year.
Kano to train 100 Pilots Abroad 1
By IBRAHIM MUSA 00 indigenes of Kano state are to be sponsored by the state government for training as pilots and other aviation professionals, the state governor, Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso has announced. Giving the indication while receiving the General Manager, Mideast Aviation Academy, Jordan, Abdallah Twerish at the government House in Kano, Governor Kwankwaso stated that it is the vision of the government to ensure that Kano citizens dominate the aviation industry in Nigeria in the near future. He said following initial discussions with the managements of International Aviation College in Kwara state and that of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, it was realized that the two institutions cannot provide slots of all the proposed 100 indigenes of Kano state. For this reason, Governor Kwankwaso said the Jordanian aviation institute was invited for discussion on how the government can collaborate with the institute on training of prospective pilots and aviation professionals from the state. â€œApart from this, we have commenced preliminary dialogue with Gulf Medical University, Dubai, UAE for possible establishment of a medical institution in Kano. These are part of efforts we are making to make sure that our citizens make use of all the opportunities they deserve", the governor maintained. He said the government has made significant progress on a similar program whereby 500 Kano graduates with first class and second class upper degrees will be sponsored for postgraduate studies overseas, highlighting that the recruitment of 1003 personnel into the state civil service would also commence before long. Therefore, Governor Kwankwaso appealed to people in the state to encourage their young ones to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the government, work hard and earn decent living so that Kano would attain its rightful position in the scheme of things in the country. Earlier in his remarks, the General Manager, Mideast Aviation Academy, Jordan, Abdallah Twerish said the institute will be happy to collaborate with the state government in training its students, explaining that the academy is internationally approved and recognized by professional aviation bodies. Mr. Twerish noted that at present, some of his academy's students are from Kano and are among the best students, assuring that qualified indigenes of the state and other international students would not be denied admission into the academy.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
News review of the week By MUHAMMAD JAMEEL YUSHA'U
Tension Mounts as N'Assembly Probes Eastern Ports Dredging T
here is heightened fear among some key players in the maritime sector of the economy, as the National Assembly begins a probe of the dredging of Calabar and Port Harcourt ports. Contracts running into several billions of naira were awarded by the Federal Government for the dredging of the two ports but the execution of the projects was poor as it did not meet international standards. Besides the fact that contracts were not executed in line with the specifications written in the contract agreement, the contractors allegedly colluded with some top government officials to divert the money meant for the projects into private pockets. Thus, the National Assembly waded into the matter, in an attempt to unravel the reasons behind poor execution of the contracts, and to find a lasting solution.
Our checks revealed that already, many port users, particularly consignees and shipping lines, have shunned the two ports as they have stopped taking their cargoes to their terminals. This is not unconnected with the poor dredging of the channels, which makes it difficult for large ocean-going vessels to have access to the terminals located in the two ports. This, in turn, has led to congestion in Lagos and Onne ports as more importers prefer to discharge their consignments in their terminals while Port Harcourt and Calabar ports remain idle with little or no activity. There are fears in some quarters that many heads will roll in the weeks ahead as the National Assembly beams its searchlight on the dredging of the two ports. Our checks also revealed that those directly and indirectly connected with failed dredging of the two ports have been
Minister of Transport, Idris Umar running from pillar to post to avert the consequences of the probe of the multibillion naira projects. Already, the House of Representatives has directed its Committee on Marine Transport to investigate the contract for the
NSA Briefs Council of State on Plateau Crisis, Threat from Mali By MUHAMMAD BELLO ssues bordering on global, transnational and internal security were top on the agenda of the meeting of the National Council of State (NCS) held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja Thursday. In attendance for the deliberation were former presidents of the country, the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, top members of the judiciary and governors. Also discussed at the meeting were the issues of the 2012 National Honours List and the review of the 1999 Constitution on which a presentation was made by Justice Alfa Belgore who was the chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Review of Outstanding Constitutional Issues, which report was submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday. The protracted crises in Plateau State was deliberated upon vis-à-vis the crises in Mali and the snowball effect it is likely to have on the activities of terrorists in Nigeria. Although no official briefing was given at the end of the meeting, it was gathered that the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki briefed the Council on what a source described as: “national security, especially the situation on the Plateau, the situation in Mali and its implications on national security.” Governors too were said to have issued a communique but State House correspondents could not lay their hands on it. And no governor spoke to journalists. Earlier this year Mali, hitherto one of West
Africa's most stable democracies, became They have, in defiance to global outcry, engulfed in fratricidal conflict spearheaded by embarked on massive destruction of all ancient an ensemble of coup plotters thus paving the cultural treasures which they consider idolatrous. The degeneration of the crises has prompted the United States to initiate a $10million Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to respond to the crisis surrounding the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled Mali or are displaced within the country. The US has expressed its support for the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in its mediation efforts to handle the situation and has assured of continued consultation with ECOWAS and other regional stakeholders on the best way to facilitate the political transition and restore peace and security across Mali. Presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the NCS meeting was attended by Vice President, Namadi Sambo, three former Heads National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki of State, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Ernest Shonekan and General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, way for the emergence of armed groups who seized the vast northern area of the country. The governors of the 36 states of the federation and insurgents, ab initio spearheaded by Tuareg the Secretary to the Government of the rebels, have over the period the conflict has Federation. lasted been pushed back by Islamist fighters Also in attendance were the, former Chief linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb Justices of the Federation, Mohammed Uwais (AQIM). and Alfa Belgore, the National Security They have now subdued the government in the Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and the Attorney General of the Federation and control of key northern cities. Minister of Justice, Muhammad Bello Adoke. It is believed that their aim is to fly the flag of hard-line Islamism by enforcing Sharia implementation.
FG Sets Academic Standard for Post-graduate Programmes
he Federal Government Thursday established the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standard (BMAS), which is meant to guide university programmes in training competent graduates across the country. Components for the BMAS document include philosophy and objectives of programmes, academic contents, admission requirements, course requirements, minimum credit load, as well as physical facilities. Minister of Education, Prof. Rukayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i announced the approval of the document at a one-day workshop on the “Formal Presentation and Distribution of Postgraduate Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (PG BMAS)”. Urging all universities to strictly adhere to it, she said: “It is very disheartening that most universities establish academic programmes without recourse to these vital documents.” The minister added: “Let me at this point
to comply with these requirements in training university graduates”. Rufa'i said the Federal Government was aware of the situation of post-graduate training and the need to increase access to qualitative postgraduate education in Nigeria. On monitoring and supervising, she explained: “ W e w i l l go round to ensure compliance, and you know that the National Universities Commission (NUC) is there to ensure that they all comply. So there is no doubt about that. Any university found non-compliant would be sanctioned”. With the introduction of the BMAS for post Minister of Education, Prof. Rukayyatu Ahmed Rufa'I graduate programmes, courses at this level will now be accredited. Only 51 universities out of over 100 in the categorically state that the Federal Government country have approval to run post-graduate has finally established Benchmark Minimum programmes. Academic Standard (BMAS) to guide the programmes. All academic programmes being taught in the Nigerian universities are expected
dredging of the Calabar channel and the Port Harcourt port. An impeccable source close to the committee, who confirmed the development, said members would not leave any stone unturned in their quest to find out what went wrong in the dredging process. The source, who preferred anonymity, said there was need to find out the root cause of the poor dredging of the two ports and lasting solutions to the problem. Members of the committee have three weeks to submit their findings to the House. The resolution of the House followed a motion by one of its members, Hon. Kingsley Chinda. The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to vote by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal. Titled 'Failed Contract for Dredging of the Calabar channel and Port Harcourt ports', the motion gave an insight into the failure of the projects. In the motion, Chinda alleged that poor quality work was done in respect of the dredging of the Calabar channel in Cross River. The legislator also alleged the nondredging and scooping of the Port Harcourt wharf. Chinda revealed that some time in 2006, the Federal Government through its Ministry of Transport awarded a contract for the dredging of the Calabar channel to two firms, Jan De Nul and Van Oord at the cost of Euros 57 million. According to the lawmaker who hails from Ikwerre in Rivers State, the two firms mobilised to site and started work on the dredging of the two ports. Chinda however disclosed that the two firms left the site in 2007, claiming to have attained removal of the agreed 25 million cubic metres of sand. He explained that when notice was given to the two firms to go back to site and complete the work, they claimed that they had completed their work according to specifications in the contract they signed with the Federal Government. The lawmaker expressed dismay that as a result of the haphazard and poor quality of work done at the Calabar channel and consequently urged the relevant Committee of the House to investigate the matter.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
News review of the week
Constitutional Review C'ttee Pushes for Right to Education, Health, Housing... Former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alfa Belgore he Presidential Committee on the Review Outstanding Issues on Recent Constitutional Conferences headed by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alfa Belgore, is pushing for an amendment to the 1999 Constitution that will confer the rights on Nigerians to compel government to provide health care, housing and education. If the amendments pass, Nigeria will join the league of welfare states like South Africa and countries in Europe where citizens can enforce socio-economic rights. Under the present regime, these rights are contained in Chapter 11 of the constitution titled Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy and are not justifiable. The implication is that should government fail to provide the social services, Nigerians do not have the right to invoke the courts to find the government liable. But in the executive summary of its recommendations, which was obtained exclusively by THISDAY, the Belgore committee has recommended that these rights be merged with the fundamental human rights contained in Chapter 1V which are enforceable. Section 16(2)(d) of the Constitution which falls under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy states: “The state shall direct its policy towards ensuring that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, a reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and persons, and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled are provided for all citizens.” Similarly, Section 17(3)(d) provides: “The state shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are adequate medical and health facilities for all persons.” Section 18 states that “government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate education opportunities at all levels.” As lofty as these objectives are, the constitution in Section 6(6) provides: “The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section shall not, except as otherwise provided by this constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act or omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of States Policy set out in Chapter 11 of this Constitution.” The Belgore committee is recommending that these rights be taken out of Chapter II and taking to Chapter IV which contain enforceable rights. It states: “The committee adopted the recommendation of the 2005 Conference that the Fundamental Human Rights in chapters II and IV of the 1999 Constitution should be merged, where possible and should be made enforceable. “It further decided that aspects of Chapter 11, which underscore the fundamental objectives of the constitution, should be transferred to the general provisions whilst those that aggregate rights should be transferred to Chapter IV.” The committee also recommended that the forcible take-over of government should be outlawed. It stated, “The committee recommends that forcible take over or suspension of government shall be illegal. Every Nigerian should have an obligation to defend the constitution and resist overthrow of government.” To forestall what happened in Kano when Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company used Nigerians to test its drugs without informing the victims of the purpose for which the drug was administered, the committee has
recommended that the right to personal liberty be expanded to ensure that Nigerians are not subjected to medial or scientific experiments without their informed consent.” In order to tackle discrimination in the society, the committee suggested that an
The committee also recommended that the monopoly of the Federal Government on railways be broken. In this regard, the committee has recommended that railways be moved from Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List to enable both states and the Federal Government make laws on railways. The committee advised that prisons should also be removed from the exclusive list and transferred to the concurrent list to enable states build prisons. Other items that were recommended for transfer to the concurrent legislative list are: commercial and industrial monopolies, combines and trusts. On this, the committee stated that item 10 of the exclusive list be merged with item 19 and amended to read “commercial and industrial monopolies, combines, trusts, and designation of securities, in which trust funds may be invested” and be moved to concurrent legislative list. Designation of securities in which trust may be invested; item 19 is merged with item 10, and amended to read, “Commercial and Equal Opportunities Commission be created industrial monopolies, combines and to replace the Federal Character Commission. designation of securities in which trust fund may be invested” and moved to the According to the committee, this will ensure concurrent legislative list. that, besides geographical and ethnic balancing, the rights of women and persons with disability are respected and represented.
Investment in Treasury Bills Drop by 17% in June
nvestment in treasury bills fell by 16.7 per cent to N683.67 billion in June as against the N820.74 billion that was recorded in May. The Financial Market Dealers Association (FMDA) disclosed this in its monthly financial and economic report for June obtained by THISDAY Thursday. Although the report did not give any reason for the development, analysts attributed it to the slight drop in inflation rate for May released last month low inflation rate is always associated with low interest on treasury bills. The FMDA report showed that at the first, second and third auction in the month under review, 91 days stop rates attained an average value of 14.08 per cent against the 13.35 per cent it attained last month; the 182 days 15.19 per cent relative to the 14.01 per cent it was in May, while the 364 days bills also got to an average of 15.65 per cent when juxtaposed with 14.12 per cent it was the preceding month. “Available data revealed that only one Open Market Operations (OMO) auction session was conducted. This was occasioned by
CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamaido Sanusi
prolonged system illiquidity as the Central Bank of Nigeria sold N14.12 billion against the N363 billion sold in May in 62-day Tenor. “Public subscription was N48.22 billion relative to N956.24 billion in the preceding month. The sharp decline in OMO sales recorded was on the back of reduced injection into the market,” it added. Commenting on the activities in the forex market in the month under review, it stated
that the premium between the CBN official and parallel market widened to 5.8 per cent from 4.01 per cent recorded at the end of May. It added that “the above premium exceeded the international benchmark of 5 per cent hence the CBN will need to demonstrate the capacity to meet market demand as it becomes expedient, in order to nip further volatility in the bud and to avoid.” The FMDA however stated that declining oil prices which affects the foreign reserves remains the biggest threat to the economy. According to the association, the behavioural pattern of domestic interest rates in the months ahead is expected to follow last month's high regime. “Inflation outlook will still remain challenging for the economy and monetary authorities especially. However, CBN will likely result to increased use of OMO as against upward review of Monetary Policy Rate, as it has proven a lot effective without causing sudden policy disruptions,” it added.
Senate Lifts Suspension on New Number Plates, Slashes Fees by 30%
he controversy surrounding the new number plates and vehicle registration by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) was Thursday put to rest as the Senate lifted its earlier order suspending the scheme and also reduced the chargeable fees by 30 per cent. Following the adoption of the recommendations of its Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, the Senate stipulated that the standard motor vehicle plate numbers would now cost N8, 400 instead of N15,000 while the fee for the procurement of new Driver's License has been reduced from N6,000 to N4,000. In the same vein, articulated vehicle owners will now pay N11, 200, instead of the N20,000 stipulated by the FRSC; while fees for privileged numbers and fancy or personalised numbers were left as originally recommended by the FRSC.
However, dealer number plates which cost N30, 000 before now was slashed to N16, 800. Consequently it lifted the suspension on the issuance of the plates and new drivers' licenses, just as it barred the police from conducting another vehicle registration and
Senate President, David Mark
stipulated that the deadline for compliance with the new scheme be extended from August 2012 to February 2013. Chairman of the committee, Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, while presenting the report said: “The current suspension on the issuance of the new drivers' licence and vehicle number plates now in its fourth month, resulting in a huge backlog of demands for these items by the motorists be lifted immediately, taking into account 30 per cent reduction.” It therefore directed the police to “suspend the introduction of Bio-metric Central Motor Registry (BCMR) and the N3, 500 that goes with it as this is an additional burden and unnecessary duplication of the on-going scheme by the FRSC on the vehicle owner which is capable of translating into hike in transport fare for commuters.”
17th - 23rd July, 2012
BackPage Zamfara's Ambivalent Budget of Hope? From Back Page A look at the sectoral capital allocations shows that the economic sector made up of agriculture, manufacturing, commerce etc is allocated N39.7 billion, the social sector (education, health, information, youth and social welfare) got N14.2 billion, environmental development sector - N17.3 billion and the government administration sector about N11.2 billion. General services under the Head of Service's office are allocated the unusually massive amount of N2.6 billion. Comparing this provision to the capital allocation for power under the directorate of rural electrification (N1.6bn) raises some concerns about priorities. The sum of N7.7 billion (6.4%) is for water supply which the state urgently needs in the face of the current lead poisoning disaster, N10 billion is to be spent on roads construction within the state with another N50 million to go towards realizing the Gusau Airport. The religious affairs budget, which covers the Hisbah Commission, Hajj, and Religious Preaching Commission, are to receive about N1.7 billion for recurrent expenditures. While in terms of capital expenditure, Qur'anic school sensitization, Qur'anic memorization centres and the like are to receive about N190 million. A monstrous N2 billion is dedicated for Sallah activities for 2012. These are not only misplaced spending priorities, but perhaps violations of the
constitution as public funds ought not to be spent on religious activities in a nation that recognizes no state religion. The education sector receives about N5.7 billion (5% of the budget) despite the fact that education in the state is a far cry from what it ought to be. According to the Universal Basic Education Commission's (UBEC) 2010 education profile, Zamfara has the least number of primary schools (1,311) in the North-west zone and about a third of the number in Kano (4,756). Net enrolment in primary schools is 367,823
of child mortality due to the lead poisoning crisis in the state. This incident alone has led to the deaths of over 400 children in the past two years according to reports from Human Rights Watch. Beyond this, over 4,000 more have been contaminated and may grow up with disabilities and in need of medical intervention. It is doubtful that the health facilities in the state are well equipped to handle the situation. It is therefore pertinent that the state government takes proactive measures in finding lasting
A monstrous N2 billion is dedicated for Sallah activities for 2012. These are not only misplaced spending priorities, but perhaps violations of the constitution as public funds ought not to be spent on religious activities in a nation that recognizes no state religion.
(55%); higher than Enugu 231,401 (42%) which ranks closely in terms of population. Net enrolment in Junior Secondary School is 112,026 (42%), making the state rank average in the zone. In the 2011 UTME, only 44.2 per cent of Zamfara students scored 180 and above, while Akwa Ibom for instance had a 70.8 per cent pass rate! Health is allocated N3.5 billion (3%). The figure clearly indicates the low priority accorded this sector. The state at the moment records the highest number
solutions to illegal mining in the state irrespective of whether it falls under the exclusive list in the constitution. Agriculture, which ought to be the mainstay of Zamfara's economy, receives a capital allocation of about N10.5 billion (9%). Although the government has put in notable efforts in the sector, much revolved around supplying subsidised fertiliser at N1,000 per bag, and seedlings to the farmers. More has to be done in terms of providing infrastructure, storage, extension services and improved
market access to create jobs and generate revenues for the state. More of such interventions and incentives in the sector will also lure many of the unemployed youths into agriculture who otherwise would engage in activities that may be detrimental to both the state and the nation. On a brighter note, Zamfara is the 15th easiest state to start a business according to the World Bank in 2010. Unfortunately, the government has only allocated N35 million (less than 1% of the budget) for youth mobilization and job creation, N280 million for skills acquisition and N100 million for an agro-based centre. This is one area which needs creativity to engage the army of young people. Rather than leave them frustrated, innovative engagement would empower them to be gainfully employed and occupied so much that they have no time or energy to be used negatively or as agents for distorted political agendas. The overall picture in Zamfara is gloomy. Almost all sectors are in dire need of improvement. If the state is to ever move forward, it would require a shift from the outlook of instant gratification with little thought for future development to more realistic long-term programmes that would secure the future of its citizens. Governor Yari is trying hard to outgrow the legacy of huge debt, parasitic religious elite and over stretched resources. He has little choice but to try harder.
Security Plateau Crises As Gen Jeremiah Useni (Rtd) breaks his Silence... B y C O M . B A S H I R D A U D A Going by the kind of inflammatory and SABUWAR reckless statements coming out from Plateau state Government officials, no one really, admire the courage and would doubt the indictment of Governor bravery of General Jeremiah Useni Jonah Jang in the crisis by Jeremiah Useni. (Rtd) by breaking the painful If Governor Jonah Jang is really interested silence as innocent, decent gentlemen in restoring the peaceful coexistence in that and women are being massacred daily. state, he would not have called for the Only a few of the so-called Plateau state withdrawal of Army from the state as at Elders and Northern leaders at large now and replace them with his thugs could muster such magnanimous called Rainbow army. courage, and told the truth no matter What I am saying is that, peace is far whose ox is gored. from being achieved in Plateau if I still wonder why the northern leaders Governor Jonah Jang continues to be bias. could not come out and speak their minds To shout when his tribe, Berom were as Jeremier Useni did .Every passing day touched and keep a seal lip when Hausa an unwanted scenario occurs yet the Fulani are persecuted. Jang should know northern leaders have kept a sealed lip. that he is a leader in Plateau for all but not a They only buzz, when a Senator or a sectional leader with a kin size vendetta Minister is killed. against certain group of people.
Lastly, I call upon the northern governors to stop issuing useless statement only after people were massacred. We need action. They must come up with a solution to the crisis.
Plateau is a miniature Nigeria, so whatever affects the state, affects us all. Thus, it requires a collective effort to nip the palaver in the bud. Dauda Sabuwar, wrote in from Katsina
â€œ Gen Jeremiah Useni (Rtd)
What I am saying is that, peace is far from being achieved in Plateau if Governor Jonah Jang continues to be bias. To shout when his tribe, Berom were touched and keep a seal lip when Hausa Fulani are persecuted. Jang should know that he is a leader in Plateau for all but not a sectional leader with a kin size vendetta against certain group of people.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
By JAMIU YISA and ISA ISAWADE
Balarabe: Jonathan is confused and incompetent
Alhaji Balarabe Musa, former governor of Kaduna State, explains why the country will remain one in spite of the current tensions. To what extend do you ascribe the various problems of development plaguing the country? It is not the leadership that is the problem because leadership itself is a product of something. That something is the social, economic and political system controlling development in the country. It is based on self interest as opposed to public interest. It is that system that says private enterprise should play the leading role in the economy instead of the state playing leading role in the economy. It is that system that produces the leadership, which appropriates it. It is, therefore, the system that is the problem and not the leadership. Leadership is only a product of the system. For example, during the colonial era and the First Republic, despite the imperfections, the leading role was played by the state and by implication public interest. Self interest or private interest came second. Our problem since the Second Republic is that we reversed the role. Instead of the leading role of the state and public interest, we now have the leading role of private enterprise and self interest. Now, this has produced disheartening problems for the country. These include corruption, stealing, criminal waste of resources, unemployment, poverty and insecurity. Don't you think that the leadership we have is what we deserve? No. Every nation is governed by social and economic systems. In every country and throughout history, since the emergence of the idea of private interest, there has always been a system controlling development in the country. That system always produces a political leadership appropriate to it. So, it is a misrepresentation of reality to say that every nation gets the leadership it deserves. It is the system that decides the leadership, not the other way round.
Alh. Balarabe Musa
challenge the government. But all the him, but let us not adopt that blindly same, the leadership is being challenged. because we can make more serious mistakes. First of all, let us change the How do you think we got to this state in system. If we change the system, we will which corruption has become very find out that corruption can even be pervasive? eliminated and if it still persists, instead of First of all, let me go back a little. This changing the system from one based on corruption, stealing and criminal waste of self interest to one based on public interest, resources, which are part and parcel of the we can adopt a measure that can lead to the same thing, result from the system. This is shooting or whatever it is of corrupt a system of free for all. Therefore, it leaders. inevitably results in this level of corruption This is what happens in other countries. and there is no way you can avoid this level But let us not adopt the system of other of corruption as long as this system exists. countries blindly. It is the system and the leadership produced by the system that Do you agree with the view that D o y o u a g r e e w i t h G e n e r a l brings about corruption. If you change the Nigerians do not challenge their leaders Muhammadu Buhari that people found system and the leadership and corruption enough? guilty of corruption should be shot? still persists, then you can have this Efforts have been made a few times to I think you can't say you disagree with extreme measure of shooting the thief. If you change the system and the leadership This corruption, stealing and criminal waste of so that you eliminate this survival of the resources, which are part and parcel of the fittest, you are automatically removing corruption. And if you remove corruption, same thing, result from the system. This is a there will be no need for shooting the thief. system of free for all. Therefore, it inevitably results But it has been said that it has reached such in this level of corruption and there is no way you a level that even after changing the system and the leadership, we can still have this can avoid this level of corruption as long as this corruption. Then the question of shooting
will arise. For example, if you change the system from one based on self interest first to a system based on public interest, will you have this level of unemployment? Will you have this level of poverty? Today, we have between 15 to 20 million unemployed postgraduate students. How can you avoid stealing and corruption under this circumstance? The situation is so bad that it is even virtualy impossible to survive in Nigeria without corruption directly or indirectly, knowingly or unknowingly. Even within the three of us here, how can you be sure that you can survive without some form of illegitimate income source? So, that is the system. The system has made it such that survival without some form of illegitimate source of income is virtualy impossible. Under this circumstance, how can you avoid corruption? But if you have a system based on the leading role of the state in the economy, based on public interest first, enlightened self interest second, will you continue to have this level of corruption, stealing and criminal waste? Will you have this level of poverty, unemployment and insecurity? I'll give you two examples: post-First Republic is one, while the period between the end of the Second Republic till now is another. Did we have this level of poverty in spite of the limited resources available to us during the first period? Did we have this level of hunger? Did we have this level of unemployment and insecurity? No, we didn't. The problems grew bigger from the Second Republic, when we began to introduce the leading role of the private sector in the economy; when we began to have a system which puts private interest first. Were our leaders during the colonial era and the First Republic thieves? From the Second Republic till today, have we done anything to remove unemployment? No. From the colonial time to the First Republic, we had insecurity, but not of the threatening variety. But since the Second Republic, insecurity has been a fixture in Nigeria simply because of the reversal of the role of government and public interest. In order words, since the emergence of the free-forall system, the leaders have become thieves. Everyday, there are credible reports of theft of public funds. A few unlucky ones have been prosecuted successfully. The vast majority of the thieves have escaped. In fact, there is nothing like an anti-corruption campaign in Nigeria. What is happening is a political manoeuvre to destroy all credible evidence of corruption so that when the time comes for proper anti-corruption campaign, there will be no evidence to prosecute the thieves.
Contâ€™d on Page 29
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Star Interview ...Jonathan is confused and incompetent From Page 28 Look at what we have experienced with the Farouk Lawan committee. In order to allow the thieves exposed in that committee get away with it, first, the EFCC refused to do anything. They were waiting for the permission of the President through the Minister of Justice before doing anything. But should they wait? Do you believe that Nigerians are capable of mustering the will to dislodge the PDP in 2015? Yes. The PDP can be defeated and it should be defeated. I think the time has come to defeat the PDP, but we have to be realistic. The PDP can only be defeated through free, fair and transparent elections. Now, these elections will be contested by registered political parties and there are 57 of them. Of these 56 minus PDP, the only political party that is truly in opposition and capable of defeating the PDP is ACN. We should not have any illusion. ACN controls at least six states. In any system of election, ACN is strong enough to be a credible opposition and an alternative government. Can you say the same of ANPP, APGA, Labour Party and CPC? The best way to defeat the PDP is to rally behind the ACN. In other words, ACN should be given a role similar to one given to CPC in the last elections. We can't give that role to CPC because it has destroyed itself so much that it is now in the sixth position. It is behind PDP, ACN, ANPP, APGA and Labour Party. Even Labour Party controls one state, a whole government. CPC has half a government because in the Nasarawa State legislature, CPC has only four members. PDP has 20. So if we really are prepared to defeat PDP, we have to identify the political party that is most capable and rally behind it.
greater as a result than they are now, we will be able to deal with them when the PDP is out of the way. But if we allow PDP to consolidate its power even more, then it means we will never be able to defeat PDP without a social revolution or a military coup before a social revolution. But let us not rely on military coup because the military has always disappointed. Despite all the struggle of the Egyptians to replace the civilian government of Mubarak with the help of the military, now they are in trouble with the military. They are now attacking the military, but all the same, they got rid of Mubarak's government and the problem is now easier for them. But do you see the opposition parties coming together for the purpose of ousting the PDP? Well, they have to because they can't continue to suffer. It depends on how the ACN plays its role. If ACN makes the same mistake that the CPC made, it will be bad. This time, it is the leadership of CPC that destroyed Buhari's chances and the evidence is clear. Now we have to look for another alternative platform to rally behind and I think the only alternative, if we don't want to deceive ourselves, is to rally behind ACN and hope that ACN will not make the mistake that CPC made. It is clear and simple.
How do you evaluate President Jonathan's leadership style? There is no style. This man is confused and he's not capable. He lacks popularity and legitimacy. Look at how he contested the presidency. His party had a provision of zoning. Whatever we feel about zoning, the thing is that it was the policy of his party. You can't violate the policy of your party on fundamental issues and escape with it. This zoning, power shift or whatever you call it has existed since the beginning of Nigeria, I know they have problems, but we have particularly from 1959, and it has worked to more problems in PDP. If we can get PDP keep Nigeria united and to give every out of the way, even if our problems are section some sense of belonging. It has gone
to the extent that it has even become part of o u r l i f e . Even in your family you have to take care of how you treat problems among the members of your family, so that no one is aggrieved. Now, with the level of political immaturity, with the level of different contending interests in Nigeria, you can't impose merit alone. Whether you like it or not, merit has to be tempered. He ignored it, he used incumbency. Incumbency is a big thing in Nigeria and it's just as bad as corruption. He used incumbency to force his own party to nominate him as a candidate despite the zoning policy. How can you be sure that every member of his party will forgive him for that? Secondly, he didn't win a free, fair and transparent election. Everybody knows the amount of rigging that took place. So, he lacks moral base and legitimacy. It is not possible under this system that if you become the leader, then, you become the standard. In other countries, when there is standard, it doesn't really matter who becomes the president. The standard is there. In Britain, America, Germany and other western countries, competence and experience are important. But the most important thing is that there is a standard that nobody can go below. In Nigeria, there is no such standard. You become the president, governor or local government chairman and you automatically become the standard. So in such a situation, you need somebody who is clearly competent, who has a record in addition to moral base and legitimacy to succeed.
Do you think that dialogue with Boko Haram will end the cycle of violence we are witnessing? Who are Boko Haram? Is Boko Haram a legitimate Islamic movement? Is it an agent established for political purpose? Any government that is failing looks for scapegoat. Any government that is failing attempts to take away attention of the people from its failure. It is not impossible that this government is responsible for creating Boko Haram to deal with the opposition or to divert attention from its failure. We saw this with Maitatsine. Maitatsine was created by the Shagari government to deal with opposition in the North, particularly PRP and GNPP. Maitatsine was doing exactly what Boko Haram is doing now in virtualy the same areas because Maitasine operated in Kano, Kaduna and the Northeast. Eventually, its members were arrested and Maitatsine himself was murdered just the way the leader of Boko Haram was murdered. Its members were arrested. Did you hear that they were prosecuted or punished in any court? No. In President Jonathan fact, what we learnt, through
There is no style. This man is confused and he's not capable. He lacks popularity and legitimacy. Look at how he contested the presidency. His party had a provision of zoning. Whatever we feel about zoning, the thing is that it was the policy of his party. You can't violate the policy of your party on fundamental issues and escape with it. This zoning, power shift or whatever you call it has existed since the beginning of Nigeria, particularly from 1959, and it has worked to keep Nigeria united and to give every section some sense of belonging. It has gone to the extent that it has even become part of our life. Even in your family you have to take care of how you treat problems among the members of your family, so that no one is aggrieved. Now, with the level of political immaturity, with the level of different contending interests in Nigeria, you can't impose merit alone. Whether you like it or not, merit has to be tempered. He ignored it, he used incumbency. Incumbency is a big thing in Nigeria and it's just as bad as corruption. He used incumbency to force his own party to nominate him as a candidate despite the zoning policy. the media, was that they were pardoned and released. Some of them were even given pocket money to go home with and they were just as murderous as Boko Haram is. In any case, hasn't the President himself said Boko Haram exists in his government? If the President, with so much powers, with so much vote for security, knows Boko Haram exists in his government and fails to do anything about it, what inference can you draw from that?. Nigerians are sharply divided along religious and ethnic lines, most especially with recent bombing of churches in the North. Do you see Nigeria remaining as family? We have heard this before. Since the beginning of the Second Republic, because of the failure of government, we have been having insecurity arising from ethnicity and religion. The only difference with Boko Haram is that it is more murderous than what we have experienced before except in the case of Maitatsine. Do you think the country can remain together despite these wide fault lines? Yes. We have integrated to a very high level. We don't seem to realise that because of these problems. We have reached a high level of integration economically and politically and we are making progress in social integration as well.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Herald Entertainment Compiled Mustapha Magaji
Settlement highlights Cruise-Holmes privacy wishes O
nly time will tell if the quick divorce settlement reached between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise lasts longer than their five-year marriage. It will need to, since the agreement will guide how the actors raise their 6-year-old daughter Suri for years to come. Yet major disputes could put the pair back in lawyers' offices and force them to enter a place they have successfully avoided so far — a courtroom. The surprise announcement Monday that Holmes and Cruise had settled their divorce in less than two weeks ended what many expected to be a contentious breakup spanning both coasts. Details of the agreement remain confidential and the pair released a joint statement indicating they intend to keep it that way. "We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents," their statement said. Had the divorce taken longer to resolve, many expected Cruise to try to move the case from New York to California, where he has ended his marriages to actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman. Neither of those cases lasted very long, with Cruise finalizing his divorce from Rogers within 45 days; his divorce from Kidman took less than six months. If Holmes and Cruise have a significant dispute about Suri's care or custody, a family law judge may have to resolve the dispute. Their divorce settlement could dictate that the dispute be heard in Los Angeles or it could remain in New York, said Steve Mindel, a divorce lawyer and partner in the Los Angeles firm Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt and Klein who has handled bi-coastal divorce cases. "No doubt the settlement terms took into consideration where disputes are going to be settled," said Michael Kelly, a Santa Monica,
Calif.-based divorce attorney who has handled numerous high-profile divorces and custody disputes. He said, however, that settlements increasingly call for parties to go to
mediation or appear before a private judge. The actors employed attorneys on both coasts, with Cruise relying on California lawyers and Holmes opting for New Yorkand New Jersey-based attorneys. Courts in both states can handle child custody disputes through sealed proceedings, and detailed arrangements are rarely filed publicly in the celebrity divorce hotbed of Los Angeles. In New York, family law cases are sealed unless there is a court order making them public although proceedings are public. Disputes do arise, such as the battle between model Christie Brinkley and her former husband of a decade, Peter Cook. The pair engaged in a court trial over custody and property on New York's Long Island in 2008, reaching a settlement after days of testimony
Bieber cited for speeding on LA freeway J
ustin Bieber is used to attracting crowds. But he had at least one follower too many when somebody tailed him on a Los Angeles freeway, and it led to a speeding ticket for the teen idol. The singer of "Boyfriend" and "Baby" was cited for driving in excess of 65 mph at about 10:45 a.m. Friday, after calls came in complaining of a freeway chase on southbound U.S. Highway 101 near Studio City, said Officer Ming Hsu of the California Highway Patrol. The 18-year-old crooner told officers he was being chased bypaparazzi, and investigators confirmed he was being followed by at least one vehicle, Hsu said. "The second vehicle left the area and there's a search to find that driver," Hsu said. Hsu did not have a description of the other vehicle. A call and an email to Bieber's publicist weren't immediately returned. The claim of a chase is backed by an unlikely eyewitness, Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, who called authorities after seeing Bieber's distinctive chrome Fisker Karma being chased by five or six other cars. On his morning commute to City Hall, Zine, who spent 33 years as a police officer, said he saw Bieber's sports car drive up behind him and zoom around him, weaving wildly in and out of traffic while five or six other cars gave chase. Zine estimated the chase exceeded 100 mph as paparazzi engaged in wild maneuvers to keep up with Bieber, including driving on the shoulder and cutting off other vehicles. Zine said Bieber was breaking the law by driving
recklessly and speeding, and the paparazzi were breaking the law by hounding him. "This was very bizarre, very outrageous and showed a total disregard for life and property," Zine said. Zine, a witness to countless crashes and fatalities during his time as an officer, said he was surprised no one crashed. "The way (Bieber) was driving was totally reckless, I would have arrested him if I had pulled him over," said Zine. "I wouldn't have given him a ticket and let him go." Friday's incident isn't the only time the floppyhaired singer has had conflict with paparazzi. In May, a photographer called authorities, complaining he was roughed up by the pop star in a shopping center, The Commons at Calabasas. Authorities said the scuffle happened when a photographer tried to snap photos of Bieber and his girlfriend, teen actress Selena Gomez. In April 2011, Bieber called off a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, saying he cancelled, in part, because he didn't want to face the country's notoriously aggressive paparazzi.
about Cook's affair with an 18-year-old girl. The pair has repeatedly returned to court after new disputes have emerged. None of Cruise's divorces to date have been public spectacles and other top stars have
managed to keep their parenting disputes largely out of open courtrooms. After the leak of a recording in which Alec Baldwin berated his daughter, most custody aspects involving his daughter with Kim Basinger have been handled through sealed proceedings. The same occurred when Charlie Sheen and ex-wife Brooke Mueller sparred over custody in 2011 in the wake of the actor's public meltdown and questions about her sobriety. Allegations of physical abuse and threats by Sheen were contained in a restraining order application, but details of the couple's custody arrangements remain private. "I don't think either of these high-profile
Had the divorce taken longer to resolve, many expected Cruise to try to move the case from New York to California, where he has ended his marriages to actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman. Neither of those cases lasted very long, with Cruise finalizing his divorce from Rogers within 45 days; his divorce from Kidman took less than six months.
celebrities want their dirty laundry aired in technically a public forum," said Russell I. Marnell, an East Meadow, N.Y.-based divorce lawyer who's also licensed in California. "Those kind of factors certainly would lend themselves to try to encourage a resolution." Mindel agreed, but said, "The question's going to be —did they have enough time to flesh out how they're going to resolve future disputes?" For now the focus of both stars appears to be to get their breakup out of the news. Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe cast doubts Monday evening on stories speculating about what the couple traded to get such a quick resolution. "There are numerous inaccuracies in the reports regarding the purported contents of the agreement reached between the parties," Wolfe wrote, adding that "its terms will not be disclosed." Kelly said although it will become clear how the custody agreement is structured based on where Suri is seen spending her time, the public will probably never know its specifics or how it came together. "Anything you (hear) past today is going to be complete speculation," Kelly said.
iHeartRadio fest to star Lil Wayne, Bon Jovi, more
aylor Swift, Aerosmith, Rihanna, Usher, Bon Jovi, Lil Wayne, Green Day, Miranda Lambert, Mary J. Blige, Shakira and others are set to take the stage at the iHeartRadioMusic Festival 2012 this fall in Las Vegas. The stellar lineup suggests the two-day marketing blitz to promoteClear Channel's iHeartRadio digital music service is on its way to repeating the success of last year's debut concert. Clear Channel, which also owns 850 terrestrial radio stations in the U.S., says Brad Paisley, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, No Doubt, Linkin Park, Jason Aldean, P!nk, deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia and Calvin Harris are also among the performers set for the festival on Sept. 21 and 22 at the MGM Grand. Ryan Seacrest will introduce the first night's show. "Last year's iHeartRadio Music Festival had so many acts from so many different genres on one stage, a true rarity for a concert," Seacrest told The Associated Press Monday. "This year it's set to be bigger and better, with an unbelievable roster of some of the most talented names in the music business." The lineup of performers reflects the diversity of artists on the digital music service, said the event's executive producer Tom Poleman. "The cool thing about iHeartRadio is it's multiple genres of radio stations on one platform," he said. "It's cool when you can then translate that to a live event like the iHeartRadio Music Festival. It's fun to look around the audience and see, they may not have been into Brad Paisley when they got here, but suddenly the Rihanna fan becomes a country fan." Last year's inaugural iHeartRadio concert featured Jay-Z, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Carrie Underwood, Steven Tyler, Rascal Flatts, Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga, among others. The concert will play live on iHeartRadio.com and Clear Channel stations nationwide, Poleman said. Video of some performances will also be available through a partnership with Yahoo, he said, adding that Clear Channel plans to make the two-day, all-star show an annual event. Tickets for the iHeartRadio Music Festival 2012 go on sale July 14.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
INSIDE NOLLYWOOD Compiled by Mustapha Magaji
Genevieve, Omotola, Rita Dominic Get Movie Role with Halle Berry? Also Inside
Uche Jombo Returns Single!
Star Actress Patience Ozokwor Seeks Court Injunction Against Son
See next page
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Inside Nollywood Compiled by MUSTAPHA MAGAJI
Genevieve, Omotola, Rita Dominic Get Movie Role with Halle Berry?
Uche I Jombo â€œ Returns Single! Star Actress Patience Ozokwor Seeks f feelers getting to newsmen are anything to go by, then, top Nollywood actors like Genevieve Nnaji, Omotola Ekeinde Jalade, Stephanie Okereke, Jim Iyke, Rita Dominic and others may get a movie role with Hollywood star, Halle Berry. This is because top Nollywood producer, Obi Emelonye is set to feature Halle Berry in his next movie, Safari. The producer of Mirror Boy and Last Flight to Abuja disclosed in an interview he recently granted. He said that the
er wedding to Kenny Rodriguez didn't come as a surprise to many because, marriage to this Nollywood diva, Uche is long overdue. Recently development, however, has proved beyond reasonable doubts that, Uche Jombo had better remain single than the disgrace she has just enmeshed herself with. Ever has there been any of such in Nigeria. Never has a celeb forced so many fingers crossed to the level of cramping like Uche Jumbo has done with her wedding to Kenny Rodriguez. The wedding was hushed from the start, but when the net couldn't hold the school of information leaking about her getting married, she declared only Wow! Magazine had the exclusive right to cover anything on her wedding. If you recall that was reportedly dumped by her former Super Eagles lover, Uche Kalu last year after a 10-years relationship. Though, she was also involved in some relationship and affairs that never saw the light of the day. What is surprising Nigerians is that she returned almost the same way she leftalone for her wedding a few weeks back. The only thing that has actually changed about her is the glittering ring on her finger. We are all hoping the magazine will have an explanation for that too.
He said that the movie script has already been sent to Halle Berr y but awaiting her approval. All things being equal, Nollywood actors would have the opportunity to act alongside the star Hollywood actress.
movie script has already been sent to Halle Berry but awaiting her approval. All things being equal, Nollywood actors would have the opportunity to act alongside the star Hollywood actress. You will recall that in 2011, Genevieve reportedly lost a movie to Hollywood actress, Naomi Harris. Will this be the next opportunity for Genevieve, Omotola and others to star with a Hollywood star in a Nollywood movie?
Court Injunction Against Son
he favourite matriarch in Nollywood faces domestic turmoil on the home front, according to an insider. As we all know, Patience Ozokwor lost her husband years ago and is the mother of 2 daughters and 2 sons, namely Chuka and Nduka. For half a decade and much to Mama G's disapproval, Chuka dated a woman called Joy. The thespian voiced concern about respect issues with her son's love interest. The star went out of her way to pick a woman called Ada for her son who according to her was better suited. Chuka disapproved of the move, but to keep the peace with his mother, he dumped Joy and hooked up with Ada. As is to be expected, the relationship between Mama G and Ada soon deteriorated as Ada found her marks in the relationship and developped a mind of her own. A split between mother and son ensued as Chuka vowed to keep his lady and to further complicate matters, Ada got pregnant. As a last resort, Mama G sought a court injunction to stop Chuka from claiming his father's inheritance as is customary for the first son in Igbo tradition. Chuka wedded Ada in court and has appealed to his kinsmen in the hope to solve the tricky situation.
In the meantime, the actress is actively that not everything on your silver screen is preparing the wedding of her youngest son, fake! vowing to make it the talk of the town in an effort to spite Chuka even further. Well, when fiction becomes reality, you realise
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Star Interview Compiled by Mustapha Magaji
Marriages don't last these days but I still need a man - Shan George W
hen success and successful actors' stories are written in the annals of Nollywood, Shan George's name cannot be overlooked. Gorgeous and gifted, Shan, who broke into the movie world in the 1997 soap opera, Wind of Destiny, not only conquered Nollywood, she captivated her fans with blistering and daring acting that wowed the Nigerian audience so much so that her memory continues to linger in the minds of Nollywood fans. The single mother of two shares her story. After two failed marriages, will she dare think of another try? “I believe there are still good men out there... I am sure I will meet a good man out there someday,” she avows. She also recounts how a near-tragic experience that almost turned her to a cripple turned around her life. We present the riveting interview raw and uncut. So why didn't we hear about you being bedridden? That is because it is not everything you would want to tell the press. It is easy to talk about it now because I am fine now, but back then on the hospital bed I wasn't in the mood to throw a pity party. I was rather trying to calm down to adjust to being a cripple if it were to result to that. I fell in my bath tub and I hit my back on the edge and passed out, by the time I woke up, I discovered I was not able to walk. I really want to say thank you to people like Daddy Showkey, and others who really stood by me during that trying period. Considering the fact that you married early, at about 15, would you advise anybody to marry early? I wouldn't. The truth of the matter is that when you are given out for marrige, at a very young age, there is a lot of psycohological damage it does to you. First of all, you are so immature, and immaturity as we know causes a lot of lapses in anything we do, either your job, your school or in your relationship with the opposite sex, like in marriage. Immaturity goes a long way to do a lot of damage because your reasoning is feeble, and when your reasoning is feeble, your actions will be feeble. I don't think I will advise anybody to get married at a tender age as I did. Was that the reason your first marriage failed? Do you know how old my first son is? I have two sons from this marriage you are talking about, a 24-year-old boy, who is a graduate of Economics from the University of East London, since last year. The second one is in the same school, reading music, whose song, “Egbami” has got everybody talking. I don't want to sit here and talk about marriage that happened 26 years ago, it is ridiculous to do that. People already know this about me, so I don't want to talk about it anymore. You were already mature by the time you went into your second marriage, why did you walk out of it? I did not walk out of it; my husband left me for someone else. There are a lot of women their husbands leave for someone else, I don't think I am the only one. I married as an aldult to a man that I saw and liked, and believed in my mind that I had seen someone I want to be with. I spent four years of my life with him and the person decided to walk out, and
move on with another woman, I don't think I so you can ask him, because I cannot speak should be carrying matchet pursing people someone else's mind. for that. He found another woman and If a chance of reconciliation emerges, will you give it a thought? I will probably have to think about it before I will give you an answer to that question because you just asked a question that I am not prepared for. I never thought about this If you got married at the age I got before. married, and you lived in the kind of How does it feel having such grown up boys as sons when you are still young and home I lived in, all those years, came good looking? out from that home, and grew up on That is why I don't like saying I regret this or I the street, like I did, I don't think regret that. They are the reason I am not angry at the marriage. How can I be angry there is anything the press want to when I have such beautiful children? I have write that would shake you. There friends and colleagues who are my age mate who are not married and have no child, and are many married women in this those ones are the biggest bad bele that I industry that still sleep around like have; just look at me, Shan George, a package of blessings. That is why I don't like coming dogs and nobody is talking about out to talk, you say this, then I would come them. out and I say it's a lie; no, I don't have time for that. Ninety percent of the 'bad beles that say Shan George is this, Shan George is that, are decided to move on with his life. far below me; I look at them, all I feel for them Don't you think there must be a reason he is pity, because I am far ahead of them. I am so blessed and it is not my fault. That is why I left you for another woman? I can give you his number so you can ask him don't get angry at what I hear about me. Having been disappointed in marriage twice, would you still give marriage a chance? I think so; I think there are still good men despite what we women say about men being this or that. I have seen a lot of men staying married to their wives and becoming good husband to their wives and good fathers to their children. So I think there are a lot of good men, out there, women should not because of what happened in a particular affair keep judging men as being all bad. If you had a relationship and it did not go down well, don't use that to spoil the next one. So I am sure I will meet a good man out there someday.There should be a lot waiting for your yes or no-I have not seen a man yet, that is just the truth. So you are searching? Well, I may not really be searching. I am not about it! He is in a better position to tell you a 29-year-old girl or a 25-year-old girl why he left me. If I had walked out, I should anymore. There are things that actually put be able to give you a reason. Now someone pressure on women to start searching. But I walked out on me, I can't tell you why the am not in that situation. I know there will be a person walked out on me. The reason I can good man someday; a good man will come say is that he met someone else. Any other around some day. reason, I will probably give you his number 3How was your growing up like?
I grew up in the village and I would say it was fun. One of the advantages later was that I had village sense and I later got “city sense”, then it became double sense (laughter). And I have imbibed a lot of my traditions, one of which is that of respect for elders. Your affair with Okey Bakassi, many thought it was going to lead to marriage? I won't talk about it. Seriously, this is a relationship that happened like 10 years ago. Apart from the God factor, what else do you think helped you get so much success, in this movie industry? It's hard work, because the Bible says He will bless the work of our hands. Whatever you are doing, if you are selling akara, sell it well. Have you not seen people training their children with money they make out of selling akara? So do your own and allow the person to do his own. Anybody that has never come to you to beg you for what to eat, you don't even have the moral justification to judge that person. I was talking to somebody yesterday, who is just two years old in the industry, and she came crying that they wrote something false about her. I told her: you have not started at all. When you are busy doing your own thing and you are successful, people must talk. But you can't bring a good man down. It seems you have developed a thick skin you are no longer perturbed about what people say or write about you? If you got married at the age I got married, and you lived in the kind of home I lived in, all those years, came out from that home, and grew up on the street, like I did, I don't think there is anything the press want to write that would shake you. There are many married women in this industry that still sleep around like dogs and nobody is talking about them. Most of them are just using the umbrella [of marriage] to cover their 'shits'. I married twice, yes, but go and ask whether I was ever caught with another man by my husbands. Never! I didn't leave any of my husbands because I was wayward. Are you not threatened by the fact that younger faces are taking over the industry? Olu Jacobs is still acting, and you can't compare him with Desmond Elliot…that is all I have to say. Can you remember your most embarrassing moment? I think it was when I did a movie where I played a character that lured her friend to the village, killed her and returned to the city to date my friend's boyfriend. After that movie I went to the market and women were insulting me, throwing tomatoes at me and I was so embarrassed that day. People say Nollywood marriages don't last; what do you think is the problem? Marriages don't last these days, not just Nollywood, and I don't know why, only God knows. How would you advice an up and coming actress? I will just advice them first of all to get an education, it is very important, and they should put God first.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
My Fatherâ€™s 14th Wife By DEBO ADEJUGBE woke up this day to the blaze of lovely sunshine streaming through the AC vents and I began to wonder where it all began. My Childhood, the several women I've had the opportunity to live with and learn from, the bittersweet lessons they've imparted, the several jostle for attention in the house and the periods when everyone had to scheme against each other because it was in vogue. Those awkward and deafening silence at the dining table, the several arguments we had just for the sake of having one, the scheming put into the next day even when we weren't sure we were going to wake up. I took everything into perspective this lovely morning. The house we grew up in was something criminally special, an entity that deserves a place in a worldwide list dedicated to chaotic establishments. Yes, that's the house where father honed his promiscuous legendary status. He has been through a retinue of
wives). His foster mother had nurtured a pretty white girl for him to marry, he however decided against such move as a way of convincing everyone he was man enough to take these decisions. He got a beautiful, black and well read wife, who excelled in sports in addition to being trained by his foster mother(perfect combination you'll say) but the marriage was short lived as various factors contributed to its demise; she decided to watch events from a distance. Father took another wife in no time. The second marriage didn't take long as she died just after six months in the relationship; He wasted no time on mourning and took for himself a third wife who stayed with him for nine years and marshaled the affairs of our house with military consciousness that was never in our DNA, her military style helped her stay that long. We were forced into unity after series of bickering and a full blown war was quenched in our house. It wasn't long before someone with equal
gave us someone else - we accepted, just to get her out of our house. We didn't have time to assess wife number nine though, as one of wife number eight's friends chased her out of the house and dad had no choice but to accept her - just for the sake of the children. Enter wife number TEN! Wife number ten spinned a web of fear and bullied us into submission. She had this fear written all over her face and personality, she did a few good things but we never got past her very sinister aura and we rejoiced when she died after five years. I knew dad was glad too, even if he didn't show it. When wife number eleven came in, we (the children) decided to give her time to settle down; she did settle down but her priority was to stabilize our household for the return of wife number five. Wife number five became wife number twelve, she came with her love for dad intact but also with vengeance on everyone that had participated
tactical and decisive discipline eased her out of father's love after nine years; the new woman came in as the fourth wife and was getting all the love but died just after six months. Father was devastated but decided to move on, so he married his fifth. The fifth wife was a friend to the fourth wife, so she decided to continue her legacy; she was in our house for a little over three years (she decided to leave because she couldn't handle our problems coupled with the children's complaint about her autocratic style). She gave dad a beautiful bride to make everyone happy. She left unwillingly and still harboured an ambition to remarry father. The sixth wife gave us stability for four years but there were several complaints about the way she favoured some children over others and how she was spending father's money lavishly; several people contrived to get her out of the picture due to her obvious inefficiency and corruption. The plan succeeded but we didn't really see the seventh wife as better even though she brought stability and discipline; her disciplinarian attitude helped push her out and we got for ourselves a beautiful eighth wife who had everything a woman should. She was beautiful, gorgeous, mannered, loving and always attentive, eager to please us. Father's eighth wife gave us some beautiful years, but everything was falling apart underneath due to unimaginable level of corruption that was institutionalized; she brought us into this mess we are working towards correcting today. When we couldn't take it anymore, we revolted and asked for a new wife for dad. We decided on who we wanted but dad's eighth wife made sure she
in the problems she had after leaving our house the first time around. We did protest but she had already developed a thick skin to all our various inventions. Everything that worked on the other wives suddenly became impotent and we were forced to watch her run her rule around dad and his friends. Father's number twelve began nurturing young girls to take her place, she had so many of them trained in her art but decided to spring a surprise on us when we forced her out after eight years. She gave us a sickly beautiful bride and a handmaid to tend to her. The sickly thirteenth wife had plans. Hampered by ill health, she was too slow for our liking and we started grumbling, not even minding the struggle she was going though at the time. We took our destiny into our own hands when we couldn't bear the torture of the slow-paced developments in our household; we revolted and asked father to take the handmaid as a mistress. Father reluctantly accepted but kept an eye out for his sickly wife. He finally gave in to our prodding when the thirteenth wife died. Enter the story of my FATHER'S FOURTEENTH WIFE! Father married wife number thirteen's handmaid and begged everyone to give her time to adapt, as she wasn't trained in the art of marshaling such a great empire as ours. He wanted us to treat her with respect and accept some of her shortcomings as learning steps. We agreed and gave her an overwhelming level of support to become the substantive wife in the house. We claimed to have done it for her because of her gentle and unassuming personality, that was our undoing.
Family women that would last 100 lifetimes and they've oscillated between weird and abnormal at times. You will understand after reading my story. Father was born 98 years ago to a father from the North and a southern Mother, he represented perfection in a multi-ethnic society like ours. He could move around without tribal challenges because of that special breed that he represented from birth. He had the opportunity of being nurtured by a white woman (Elizabeth) who gave him everything he required to prosper - at least to an extent. He was in the care of several white nannies who did their utmost in line with the wishes of his foster mother, they simply nurtured him to the best of their abilities and gave him all the education they could, before he revolted. When Father was 42 - tired of the endless taunts of being a white-black boy - he decided to legally extricate himself from his foster mother and her several nannies, it took him close to four years to make this wish come true. He was given the opportunity to be a man, but there was still visiting rights accorded to the foster mother. It took another three years for him to finally become a selfgoverned man, after the courts had established he was fine by himself. That landmark judgment marked the beginning of father's problems. He slipped into confusion and self created delusions about women. I will talk briefly about the journey it took to get here, I won't tell you about my mother, my grouse is with my father's 14th wife (even if I really never warmed up to any of his other
We are dying by the numbers and I think that's her end game because she looks the other way while a new member of the family dies every day. We need help! She has laid out a three year masterplan and a four year continuation agenda on how to manage our household. I'm afraid because she has already bankrupted dad and her masterplan would bring nothing but pains, tears, sorrow and great slip into a lifelong coma to everything our household represents. She started with promises of addressing our major problems in the house. Education of the children, our problematic power issues, stamping out the corruption seed planted by some of father's former wives, equality, working on the roads linking dad's several properties and the issue of security of our lives and properties, were all well documented in her speech when we gave her that overwhelming support to be dad's fourteenth wife. Trouble began when we noticed that she started acquiring expensive shoes, very scarce clothing materials, countless aides and assistants, extravagant headgears and several other items that were purposely acquired to transform her from the erstwhile handmaid we knew. She made sure that father's palm oil plantation located in her town become a surreal battle seed anytime we try to revolt. The proceeds from the oil plantations were misused and diverted to several channels to take care of her excesses. She began courting the high and mighty - using dad's palm oil proceeds to settle them - making life so unbearable for us. We have no security anymore as armed robbers, thieves, looters, ritual killers, religious fights etc have taken over father's estates. So many of the children died in some of our protests, in our churches, in mosques, in places of celebration or without cause; its been one problem to the other and the courtship with the corrupt society men and women has left us powerless, needing a messiah to deliver us. Her handmaid has exhibited worse reasoning level compared to father's fourteenth wife, leaving us with no option to look forward to. If we fight to push the wife out and force the handmaid on father, we'll have so much to cry about and yet, we don't want father's fourteenth wife to continue. Its a great dilemma in our household, because we forced her on father and he blames us for everything (even if secretly). Father's fourteenth wife has a very good friend, Aliyaro, who has helped her siphon all the palm oil proceeds. Experts told dad that our palm trees are becoming redundant and would stop bringing out meaningful fruits in the next few years; she doesn't care. We now pay more for a bottle of Palm oil because she told father to hands off on any help he was giving us. When an arm of father's headquarter company was bombed, one of fourteenth wife's friends accused her of complicity but the friend was incarcerated and the truth is long gone. She even renamed one of our household monuments without consultation and regard to our feelings. We are dying by the numbers and I think that's her end game because she looks the other way while a new member of the family dies every day. We need help! She has laid out a three year masterplan and a four year continuation agenda on how to manage our household. I'm afraid because she has already bankrupted dad and her masterplan would bring nothing but pains, tears, sorrow and great slip into a lifelong coma to everything our household represents. We are dying and we need help! Help us address the issue of my father's fourteenth wife, I'm begging PLEASE.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Human Angle Dehumanization of Our Humanity By HANNATU MUSAWA
have watched many crime shows and horror movies, mostly because I struggle to understand what could possibly possess someone to commit atrocities against another human being. The trail of death and violence that has characterized several communities in the north is so shockingly unimaginable one is almost lost for thought when trying to contemplate what could possibly be running through the minds of people who decide to slaughter others so brazenly. The memorials of the slain that now sully several Northern towns and villages provide only small glimpses into the collective insanity that has gripped the society. It deeply saddens one to think of the horror and pain the victims and the families of these spates of violence have gone through. As for the people who can easily take another's life, and be so pompous to think that that life had no value or light in this world, and that their existence was worth destroying are an abomination of our species. From murder of sleeping families in their homes, to bombing parishioners, to reprisal mass extermination of innocent people, to eating the flesh of those murdered, to extrajudicial slaughter, to decapitation, it is almost impossible to imagine how so many Nigerians could have turned into coldblooded butchers. There is no doubt that a fragment of our society has completely lost its humanity. That loss happened the moment we stopped fighting for each other and started fighting with each other. And within that fight, came the madness that we see unfolding before our very eyes. For how much longer are we supposed to take this violence that has submerged our society? How long can we take the things that we are not supposed to take? Nigeria today has become like the body of a chronic substance abuser. The body is not naturally made or prepared to take any external, toxic substances. It is not natural and is against natural justice. And as the substances and drugs continue to be forced into the body; that body will eventually stop to function properly and the mind will give way to madness. Sooner or later what the body would be left with will be the shadow of a junkie; a mad man aimlessly roaming shoddily on a winding road to nowhere. Yes, our reality is as simple as that! You see, the simplicity of madness is this; There is good in the world and there is evil. There is light and there is darkness. There is hope and there is despair. And we all get to decide where to stand. The barbarians within us that tread the road of malevolence and wickedness choose to stand on the side of evil, darkness and despair. They choose to slaughter and main
other people's children, wives, husbands, fathers and mothers despite the fact that they have children, wives, husbands, fathers and mothers of their own that they wish to keep safe. They choose to indict reasonable minded, objective and innocent people in the community because of the association of guilt that Nigerian ignorance attaches to tribe, ethnicity and religion. The barbarians chose the dark side and as a result dehumanize our humanity. From neighbourhood communities, to social networks, to communal gathering, our lives have become ravaged by crimes against humanity, overtaken by fighting against the evil chain of hatred. We don't all have to stand exactly the same. We can stand in different ways, with varying opinions. But we should stand against the hatred that is ripping our societies apart. At this point, Nigerians no longer have a choice but to take that stance so we can show the barbarians within us where the majority of us stand. Even for those who do not ascribe themselves to the violence enacted against fellow Nigerians, as long as they are part of keeping the chain of hatred strong, then they are part of the problem, because hatred is where it all starts. In the movie 'StarWars', one of the characters, Yoda, in advising his pupil against fear, anger and hatred said, "Fear leads to anger, Anger leads to hate, Hate leads to Sufferingâ€?. He was correct because when one has fear, there's the instinct of fight or flight. When they choose to fight, it manifests itself in a form of anger; Anger then leads to hate in some form. Hate turns to suffering very quickly and when one has all these emotions running high, they suffer or strive to make someone else suffer. Hating one thing could easily turn into hating many other things and that's the vicious circle within which the barbarians within our society exist. That's the vicious circle that those within us will find ourselves as long as we continue to nurse hatred against each other. So long as we have a desire to salvage
what little strain of humanity we have left, the choice of the overwhelming majority must be one where we break the hatred chain and stand together against the dehumanization of our humanity. Every day we speak about the lack of justice in Nigeria, breach of rights, corruption, rigged elections and the cost of living. But how can we even talk about rights, democracy, politics, aesthetics and philosophy when we are murdering our neighbour's children and training our children to kill our neighbours? The hatred we preach and the violence under any circumstances is unjustified and impure. It reduces us to something less than human; puts us on a slippery slope to the pit of destruction and damnation. More worrying is the lingering effect that the present activities will have on the next generation who will invariably be the product of a civilization, which produced and dwelled in violence, hatred and destruction. That generation will be moulded with a consciousness of partial rationality and twisted moralities. What is happening today in Nigeria is indicative of the fact that we have lost control of our lives and we have traded on the road of self-destruction. As the cost of living in Nigeria continues to rise to something that is beyond the reach of the ordinary Nigerian, the cost of life plummets to absolutely nothing. The mass death of our neighbours and kin is now such a daily occurrence; it has become the natural order of our present existence. And as the insane and barbaric murderers continue to be guilty of mass murder, let the rest of us not be guilty of murdering rationality, liberty, equality, morality, natural justice, understanding and purpose. We must give way for our conscience and mortality to get back that purpose of humanity that we were all created with. Our children are yearning for peace, looking for peace, and are in desperate need of peace. Yet, we cannot have peace while our communities are in pieces, shattered
And even though many of us will never be able to understand the way the deformed mind of murdering barbarians operate; we each have a duty not to allow ourselves to be part of the vicious circle that leads to the dehumanization of our humanity. and battered. The violence has got to stop! It is totally unacceptable, it is an obscenity and completely out of order. It has become the grave evil of our time and all good people in Nigeria have a duty to be rational, understand and work together in order to eradicate it. No matter what one community has done to another, there can be no justification for violence in any form. Responsible and respectful communities handle their disagreements with understanding and patience, not rage and violence and that is what we have to strive to get back to. The leaders in the affected communities and the government have to provide a common ground where all identifiable factions of any communal clash can share their opinions and needs in a civil exchange that can ultimately lead to an acceptable outcome for all. At the very least, the communities involved should keep in mind that compromise and understanding is necessary to make their community a place worth living in. I have watched the scariest and goriest horror movies imaginable and I still don't have an understanding as to what could possibly possess one human being to commit terrible atrocities against another human being. And even though many of us will never be able to understand the way the deformed mind of murdering barbarians operate; we each have a duty not to allow ourselves to be part of the vicious circle that leads to the dehumanization of our humanity.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Page 36 Compiled By: Bashir Mohammed Alkali, SMS Only 08038399630
HELPING YOUR FATHER
clergyman walking down a country lane and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off. "You look hot, my son," said the cleric. "why don't you rest a moment, and I'll give you a hand." "No thanks," said the young man. "My father wouldn't like it." "Don't be silly," the minister said. "Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water." Again the young man protested that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the clergyman said, "Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I'll give him a piece of my mind!" "Well," replied the young farmer, "he's under the load of hay.â€?
New Family Driver
artin had just received his brand new drivers license. The family troops out to the driveway, and climbs in the car, where he is going to take them for a ride for the first time. Dad immediately heads for the back seat, directly behind the newly minted driver.
"I'll bet you're back there to get a change of scenery after all those months of sitting in the front passenger seat teaching me how to drive," says the beaming boy to his father. "Nope," comes dad's reply, "I'm gonna sit here and kick the back of your seat as you drive, just like you've been doing to me all these years.â€?
Gift for a Birthday
fellow was very much in love with a beautiful girl. One day she told him that the next day was her birthday. He told her he would send her a bouquet of roses... one for each year of her life. That evening he called the local florist and ordered twenty-one roses with
A Parent's Terrors of Life Dear Mother and Dad: It has now been three months since I left for college. I have been remiss in writing and am very sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now, but before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down... Okay? Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival, are pretty well healed now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital and now I can see almost normally and only get three headaches a day. Fortunately the fire in the dormitory and my jump were witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me at the hospital, and since I had nowhere to live because of the burnt-out dorm, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It's really a basement room, but it is kind of cute. He is a very fine boy and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven't set the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show. Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents and I know
you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion and tender care you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has some minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood tests and I carelessly caught it from him. This will soon clear up with the penicillin injections I am now taking daily. I know you will welcome him into our family with open arms. He is kind and although not well educated, he is ambtious. Although he is of a different race and religion than ours, I know you expressed tolerence will not permit you to be bothered by the fact that his skin color is somewhat darker than ours. I am sure you will love him as I do. His family background is good, too for I am told that his father is an important gunbearer in the village in Africa from which he comes. Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not have a concussion or skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I do not have syphillis and there is no boyfriend in my life. However, I am getting a "D" in History and an "F" in Science, and I wanted you to see these marks in the proper perspective. Your loving daughter
instructions that they be delivered first thing the next morning. As the florist was preparing the order, he decided that since the young man was such a good customer, he would put an extra dozen roses in the bouquet. The fellow never did find out what made the young girl so angry with him.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
PUBLIC SENTIMENT With Ibrahim Muhammad
email: firstname.lastname@example.org <0803-7024356>
The Boiling Pot On the Plateau O
nce again, situation has compelled me to comment on the deteriorating situation in Plateau State. The motion like carnage going on in Plateau is approaching a state of no return. The one million naira questions being asked since 2008 still remain what they are – questions without answers. Why and how did the once a peaceful and tourist heaven state turn to mass graveyard? What is the genesis of the current killing spree? Who are those fuelling the fire of the boiling pot? These are part of the issues we need to address before any meaningful solution can be contemplated. The 7th September 2001 riots in Jos were triggered when a young Christian woman crossed a roadblock in front of a mosque down town Jos. However, the real causes were much deeper, largely related to ownership of land and access to public office of the so called indigenous people, the predominantly Christian Birom, Anaguta and Afizere and the Muslim Hausa-Fulani, who are still seen as settlers. By early 2002, the previously contained violent conflict spread from Jos city across the state, resulting in loss of lives and material resources on a scale never before experienced in Plateau State. Fighting became very intense, especially in YelwaShendam in 2002 and 2004; and on 18 May 2004, President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a state of emergency in Plateau State which was lifted after six months. Another cause is the underlying issue of economic dominance and the associated envy. In Jos, the economy has been largely dominated by commercial trading activities, which are mainly in the hands of “newcomers” such as the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa-Fulani. The “indigenes” were afraid of being excluded from ancestral land, offices and economic resources. Many also believe that it was due to the laziness and lack of seriousness on the part of the so called indigenes that made other people to dominate the economic activities. Most of the indigene-settler disputes, therefore, revolve around economic issues, such as access to farmland, fishing ponds, markets and the opportunity to engage in economic activities. The indigenes insisted that the Hausa-Fulani had no claim to land in their community, while the Hausa-Fulani argue that since they were born in this community and had lived there all their lives, they have equal rights. The clashes between indigenes and settlers developed into violence in Plateau State, where historically the segregation between indigenes and settlers has been upheld, especially during the colonial system of indirect rule where “natives” and “immigrants” (in mining camps) were not treated as one entity. Hausa settlements were dealt with separately and maintained. This is why the appointment of a Hausa Politician to a state wide post in a federal poverty eradication program sparked such clashes as was the case in 2001. Today Plateau State government and other state governments all over Nigeria issue “certificates of indigene” which serve as documentary proof that the bearer is a “native” of the area concerned. Those who
are not granted a certificate are treated as non-indigenes in their formal interaction with all levels of government. They experience discrimination in terms of higher school fees, lack of access to
The clashes between indigenes and settlers developed into violence in Plateau State, where historically the segregation between indigenes and settlers has been upheld, especially during the colonial system of indirect rule where “natives” and “immigrants” (in mining camps) were not treated as one entity. positions in the federal civil service, military or police force, less employment opportunities and limited access to resources such as land. As a result of these ever more stringent discriminatory policies, level of poverty and unemployment have increased.
sector employment opportunities and to resources at the federal, state and local levels. While the aim was to create a national unity, in practice the principle created polarization between “indigenes” and other residents of a state. One of the reasons was that through the “indigenes clause” the federal character principle was explicitly linked to indigene ship, determined by ancestry as a legitimate basis on which to make political claims and assert entitlement to certain benefits. In this way, the concepts “indigenous” and “non-indigenous” were constitutionally legitimized and discrimination justified against those whose ancestors may have migrated from other states. This has been exploited by various groups in order to further their own interests. Various human rights organizations have therefore suggested that all references to indigenousness should be removed from the Constitution and replaced by residency as the criterion for appointment. More so, we need to revisit the roles played by some notable leaders of Jos in previous crises. Yes, it was the unhealed wounds punctured by imprudent Governor Jona Jang who sees himself as Chief Security Office or Berom rather than Chief Security Officer of citizen of Plateau
State, is owned by the natives […]. Simple. Every Hausa-man in Jos is a settler whether he likes it or not. In the past, we might not have told them the home truth, but now we have […] .They are here with us, we are in one state but that does not change the landlord/settler equation, no matter how much we cherish peace […] .Our problem here today is that the tenant is becoming very unruly. But the natural law here is simple: if your tenant is unruly, you serve him a quit notice! [...] This unruly group must know that we are no longer willing to tolerate the rubbish they give us. The days of “over tolerance” are gone forever. All of us must accept this home truth.” It was that statement that led to imposition of state of emergency in Plateau State by Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Looking at what has happened under the leadership of Jonah Jang, can we all say that he still deserves to be occupying such a sensitive position in the state? To pretend that the Chief Security officer of the state's action did not contribute to the bloodshed on the streets of Plateau is tantamount to adding insults to their injury. There is temptation to believe that what is going on is issue of indigenes-settlers crises. However, it is my hope that the death of a Senator and a member of State House of
State. This assertion was shared by Senator Akume of Benue State as reported in Daily Trust of 11th July 2012. A day later, General Useni made the same statement when he unequivocally states that “Jang is the problem of Jos'. Also, Chief Johsua Dariye, whom I saw lamenting on AIT during a visit to the families of the late senators, is also part of the problem. In an interview he granted to Daily Champion in March 2004, he was quoted as saying: “From the onset, let me say it again, as I have before that Jos, capital of Plateau
Assembly in Plateau should remind us that no one is safe in that state. The government of President Goodluck Jonathan should admit that it has failed on fundamental issue of protecting lives and property. This will pave way for convening National Security Submit. The situation is slipping to anarchy and all we are hearing is fake assurance of government's determination to end the security challenges. For how long are we going to wait? Is it when all Nigerians are in their untimely graves? It is time for action please.
All these are happening despite the fact that the 1999 Constitution states that “No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.” Fundamental Rights Section of the Nigerian Constitution (1999) section 42: Right to freedom from discrimination. In the 1979 Constitution (which forms the basis for the 1999 Constitution currently in force) the principle of “federal character” was introduced as a type of quota system to ensure that all ethnic or other groups have equal access to education and public
17th - 23rd July, 2012
ISLAM With Allama Dr. Sani Mustapha 08034974391 SMS only
A Contemporary, Rational, Examination of the Sciences of the Holy Qur'ān ...An Admonition, Insight, and Reminder for the 99 Per Cent Turning in Repentance Continued from our previous edition
Chapter 1 is short. You may wish to share with me the following: Meaning of Qurān. Qurān is derived from the word Qarn (to unite/compare) or Qaraa to recite; a verb). The letters “a” and “n” were added, forming Qurān, a passive participle. The Arabs explained it by saying, “The she-camel has not born a child (is not pregnant).” They explained it in a form of active participle, saying again, “I poured water in the cistern.” Qurān by and large is understood to refer to “A collection of the Heavenly Sciences in the form of a Book and with an addition (what is revealed to Muhammad).” Some Muslim scholars regarded it to be derived from the word Qarn (resemblance) and not Qaraa. 2.2 Definitions of the Qurān By Allāh. Allāh defines the Holy Qurān in 39:23 as “The Best Statement, (Ahsanu hadīth) a Book (this Qur'an), its part resembling each other (in goodness and truth) (and) oft-repeated.” If it the best statement, then there must be another statement that is good and better than others. Is the Torah good, the Injeel better, and the Holy Qur'ān best? 2.3 By Muhammad Rasūlullāh. He defines the Qur'ān as the Best Statement (Hadith), the Book of Allāh. 2.4 By a Sahāba 'Amr ibn al-'As. Before accepting Islām, he defined the Qurān as “A Book written by an illiterate attributed to God.” 2.5 By the Muslim scholars. The majority define the Holy Qurān as the words of Allāh. This definition needs fine tuning to be accepted; this will be explained later. 2.6 By the Jinn. A wonderful Recitation. 3. Descriptions of the Holy Qurān 3.1 By Allāh. There are many such descriptions in the Holy Qurān, each supporting one another. In the form of glad tidings in the Holy Qurān 17:9: “Verily, this Qurān guides to that which is most just and aright and gives glad tidings to the believers (in the Oneness of Allāh and His Messenger Muhammad), who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward (Paradise).” The glad tidings in the Holy Qurān are not applicable and limited to only the followers of Muhammad Rasūlullāh. It spelt out the impossibility in the failure of man, given the faculty of discrimination, to ever seek for anything that is not beneficial to him. In the form of threats in the Holy Qurān 39:16: “They shall have coverings of Fire, above them and covering (of Fire) beneath them.” This is an additional threat, for after the murder of Abel by Cain, Allāh frightened him in Genesis 4:4: “and now sin is waiting to attack you like a lion.” In the form of protection in the Holy Qurān 3:160: “If Allāh helps you none can overcome you; and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you?” In the form of an assurance in the Holy Qurān 2:2:“This is a Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear
Allāh.” Holy Qur'ān 34:28: “And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a giver of glad tidings and a warner to all mankind, but most of men know not.” 3.2 By Muhammad Rasūlullāh Containing information of what happened before. News of what will come after you. A decision regarding matters that will occur amongst you. It is the distinguisher and is not jesting. If any overweening person abandons it, Allāh will break him. If anyone seeks guidance elsewhere, Allāh will lead him astray. It is Allāh's stalwart rope, the wise reminder, the Straight Path. That by which desires do not swerve, nor the tongue becomes confused and the learned cannot grasp it completely. It is not worn out by repetition nor do its wonders ever cease.
The Holy Qur'ān as explained by Maududi is essentially a book of guidance, principally dealing with creeds, moral instructions, and laws; inviting people to submit to Allāh voluntarily or involuntarily; admonishing the disbelievers; drawing lessons from historical events; administering warnings; giving glad tidings; and above all proving to mankind its total failure and inability to seek from a source anything other than that which is in the Holy Qur'ān.
It is that which the jinn did not hesitate to remark when they heard it: “We have heard a wonderful recitation which guides to what is right, and we believe in it.” He who utters it speaks the truth. He who acts according to it is rewarded. He who pronounces judgment according to it is just. He who invites people to it guides them to the Straight Path. 5. Characteristics of the Holy Qur'ān. The characteristics of the Qur'ān are many. I am personally attracted by the following ones. 5.1 As a challenge to mankind. This is an open challenge to the Levi clans of the children of Israel on the holy apostle's arrival in Madina. Allāh challenges them in the Holy Qur'ān 2:23. “Produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof and call witnesses (supporters and helpers) besides Allāh, if you are truthful.” The Sura referred
to in 2:23 is a challenge to the children of Israel to produce evidence that Muhammad Rasūlullāh is not mentioned in their book, and to produce a way of life for their salvation, prosperity, and progress. Why did they not produce the Torah that is the Ten Commandments? In Makka, Allāh instructed the holy apostle to assure (in particular) the belligerent Quraysh, in the Holy Qur'ān 17:88: “If the mankind and the jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur'ān, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another.” In this argument there is no limit – just the like. The Levi clans knew only the written and oral law. The Quraysh were challenged to produce the Qur'ān, a more comprehensive term. They had no Sharī'a specific to them and knew very little of the Torah; the challenge was subjugating to them, indeed. 5.2 Instinctive quality. This description is followed immediately after the definition of the Holy Qur'ān in 39:23. “The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it (when they recite it or hear it). Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allāh.” This verse is to be translated and given its full meaning by physiologists, anatomists, and pharmacologists. In a nutshell the verse is referring to a stimulus and its response – a simple refl ex arc. Therefore this verse carries the meaning of rendering of full accounts in the hereafter. Already Prophet Moses warned against joining the crowd in the Holy Qur'ān 20:92, when he challenged his senior brother, Prophet Aaron. “What prevented you when you saw them going astray that you followed me not (according to my advice to you)? Have you then disobeyed me?” 5.3 Enforcement, efficacy, and decisiveness. These characteristics are in the Holy Qur'ān 13:31: “And if there had been a Qur'ān with which mountains could be moved (from their places) or the earth could be cloven asunder, or the dead could be made to speak (it would not have been other than this Qur'ān).” Chapter 2. This chapter is longer. You may wish to share with me this piece: The Holy Qur'ān as explained by Maududi is essentially a book of guidance, principally dealing with creeds, moral instructions, and laws; inviting people to submit to Allāh voluntarily or involuntarily; admonishing the disbelievers; drawing lessons from historical events; administering warnings; giving glad tidings; and above all proving to mankind its total failure and inability to seek from a source anything other than that which is in the Holy Qur'ān. If the central theme of the Qur'ān is not the exposition of the reality and the invitation to the right way based on it, its subject matter deals with man – the Lilliputian – to remind him of the guidance that he has lost because of his negligence and arrogance. The Holy Qur'ān then ceases to be literally the words of Allāh. Who were the addressed and the speakers? It is at this point that one filters the
actual words of Allāh and the words that are not His. The majority of the Muslim Umma understood or defined the Qur'ān as the word of Allāh. However, a close and critical examination of the Holy Qur'ān casts doubt on their general and unrestricted assumption. This definition or explanation should be contained into what happened before the creations of the heavens, the earth and mountains, but not after the creation of Adam. While the angels confessed to their lack of knowledge, Adam was able to tell Allāh of the nature of things – that is, their names. But this was after Allāh taught Adam the nature of things. That knowledge, even if absent in the recording books of the angels, was known to Adam and his progeny. The Qur'ān therefore contains the ideas or knowledge of Adam, if what he named while in the heavens was also what he named after his descent to the lower heavens. The addressees were everything that was the heavens and the earth. The physical world is indeed a sign to and for mankind that Allāh is real, exists, and controls the affairs of the world. They are arguments against mankind that Allāh can force them submit to Him in total obedience, and that mankind depends on Allāh for his sustenance. Mankind certainly has realized that involuntarily, but when it comes to voluntary realization, he refuses and pretends his inability to comprehend, and understand them. This was denied by Prophet Moses earlier; he behaves as if he has no sensory organs of perception. The Holy Qur'ān is principally a call and a reminder to the children of Israel and the Quraysh, and then followed by the rest of civilization and community at that time (AD 610). The Levi clans in Madina have adopted the Arabic language as their second language and used to translate the Torah in Arabic to the Aws and Khazraj tribes. In the Holy Qur'ān 16:64, Allāh says, “And We have not sent down the Book (the Qurān) to you (O Muhammad), except that you may explain clearly unto them those things in which they diff er, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a folk who believe).” Responses to revelation (command). I have described the process of revelation as a form of a reflex arc. The command (stimulus) is from Allāh. The Holy Qur'ān then is a process involving a reflex arc (it's meant for scientists to understand, and it stands as a proof against them in the hereafter), and a scientist must explain and demonstrate the efferent reflex (response) component of the command (stimulus) from Allāh. The following are the responses. In the form of a discourse in the Holy Qur'ān 2:32:“Glory be to You, we have no knowledge except what you have taught us. Verily, it is You, the All-Knower, the AllWise.” In the discourse between Allāh and Shai?an in the Holy Qur'ān 7:12: “I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire and him from clay.”
To be continued next week
17th - 23rd July, 2012
(Continuedfromlastedition) On any given day, a like today in fact, or one during last month, or last year, much of the following-all of it derived directly from actual happenings or disclosures of the past few years-is taking place somewhere in the United States. Time and again we have been assured that certain practices have been terminated, only to discover that-perhaps with slight modifications-they are still being carriedout. It should be noted that what is presented herein deals essentially with violations of civil liberties and human rights, and does not include the numerous forms of corporate abuse which are economic in nature or which adverselyaffectpeople'shealth. Many of the violations reflect foreign policy considerations given a domestic twist to bringthe“threat”hometoUScitizensandwin supportforthosepolicies. None are more hopelessly enslaved than thosewhofalselybelievetheyarefree. JohannWolfgangvon Goe the Ineverystate, the police or the National Guard and, at times, active-duty army troops, are conducting relentless helicopter drug-surveillance over people's homes and property, setting up roadblocks, interrogating, detaining, harassing and terrifying residents with displaysofexcessivepower. InhundredsofAmericancities,youngpeople arebeing subjectedtoanighttimecurfewlaw; manyhaveadaytimecurfewaswell. The CIA, FBI and other federal agencies are refusing to respond to subpoenas for documents issued by attorneys who need them for the defense of their clients in national securitycasesinstatecourts. US residents are undergoing assorted harassments and penalties from the federal government for having traveled to, spent money in and/or shipped various goods to Cuba, Libya, Iraq, North Korea, Iran, Yugoslavia or other nations of that ilk. Those who visit the United Nations Mission in New York or the Interests Section in Washington of some of these countries risk being photographed and receiving visits or phone callsfromtheFBI. The CIA is opening and reading mail to and from selected countries. The FBI is peeking at American's correspondence, domestic and international,forahostofitsownpriorities. In Western states, police and federal Border Patrol agents are stopping pedestrians and motorists purely because they look Hispanic, and asking them to prove that they're lawful residentsoftheUnitedStates. Motorists are being stopped on highways for drug checks, blacks and Hispanics being the most likely to be stopped because of the racebased drug-courier profile being employed. Blacks are being strip-searching on streets by police, who then shine a flashing at their genitalandanalareas. The INS is holding children (under age 18), mainly from Latin America and China, for months at a time i8n prison-like conditions, notinformingthemoftheirrights,interfering with their attempts to obtain lawyers and failing to facilitate contact with relatives, detaining them perhaps to force their illegal alien parents to come for them, so they can be takenintocustody. Private corporations are recoding employees' phone calls and voice mail, reading their computer files and email, getting logs of what websites they've looked at, videotaping them as they work, observing them in bathrooms and locker rooms with two-way mirrors or hidden cameras, tracking their whereabouts by having them use electronic pass keys, bugging their offices, subjecting them to airport-style electronic searches, testing their urine for drugs, doing extensive security checks on their backgrounds-all this whether or not they have ever behaved poorly on the job, or whether their work involves any danger to anyone.
Rogue State By Williams Blum At the Naval Academy in Annapolis, a random group of about 300 students has to undergo urinalysis each week. At other schools, students are obliged to take a urine testinordertojointhetrackteam,jointhechess club,gototheprom,goonafieldtripordriveto and from school; some of these school policies havebeenapprovedbycourts. New Jersey state troopers are enlisting hotel workers along the New Jersey Turnpike to tip themoffaboutsuspiciousguestswho,among other things, pay for their rooms in cash or receive a flurry of phone calls; hotel managers are allowing troopers, without a warrant, to leaf through the credit card receipts and registration forms of guests; the troopers are giving surveillance seminars to train employees to scrutinize guests who fit the profile of drug traffickers, the profile includingraceandspeakingSpanish. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is keeping up to date its list of aliens, radicals and other undesirables who will be rounded up and detained in times of “nationalemergency”. Juveniles imprisoned at one of the nation's more than 50 so-called “boot camps” are forcedtogoonendurancerunsuntilbloodhas soaked their shoes; one has already died from it; at other times, the youngsters are subjected toshacklesorhandcuffs. Women are being arrested for using crack cocaine while pregnant even if their baby is perfectly normal at birth. Indeed the idea of the“crackbaby”maywellbeamyth. Government agencies and private corporations are not giving gay couples or unmarried heterosexual couples the same benefits they offer married heterosexual couples. Homosexuals are being discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation, even if not charged with any misbehavior. Task forces of international, federal, military, state and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies, as well as private entities,areemployingincreasedinteraction, abundant funds, new laws, new technologies and new octopus-like databases to spy on and harass activists of many stripes: Irish and Middle-East support groups, human rights, immigrants' rights, civil liberties, prison reform, minorities, labor, environmental, animal rights, nuclear power and antiimperialism activists, even if there is no evidenceofviolenceorillegalactivities. The FBI and policies noting license plate numbers of people attending meetings and demonstrations, photographing people, paying informers to infiltrate groups, breaking into offices to steal mailing and contributor lists, rifling through files and carrying out “harassment arrest” (i.e., arrests where charges are later dropped). Individual members of these groups are receiving FBI visits at their homes and workplaces, or the Bureau is sending anonymous letters to the person's colleagues implying that s/he is actually an informer, as well as sending assorted poison-pen letters to employers, landlords and spouses designed to produce maximumdistress. Airport passengers are being detained for hours, even days, and are missing flights because they fit a “terrorist profile” based on their nationality, ethnicity, appearance, airport behavior, travel itinerary or other criteria. They are being strip-searched, including body cavity searches, X-rayed, forced to take laxatives, their bowel movementsmonitored.
The FBI is urging librarians to report on the books taken out by patrons with foreignsounding names, particularly scientific and technicalbooks.(Whenthisprogramwasfirst revealed and criticized, the FBI proceeded to dochecksonthecritics.) The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is demanding that a publisher provide it with the names of people who bought a marijuanacultivationbook. The police are confiscating the cars of
TheCIA,FBIandother federalagenciesare refusingtorespondto subpoenasfordocuments issuedbyattorneyswho needthemforthedefense oftheirclientsinnational securitycasesinstate courts.
customers of prostitutes, sometimes after a female police has lured the man into offering her money for sex. It matters not if the car does notbelongtotheman. Other police officers somewhere are forcing prostitutes to perform sex acts by threatening toarrestthemiftheydon'tcomply. Women desiring an abortion are finding various daunting obstacles placed in their pathbystateandfederalauthorities. The FBI or the police are carrying out a sting operation in order to arrest a black elected official regarded as too charismatic or “uppity”. (The repeated case of former Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry is highlyinstructive.) People are being rejected for housing and employmentbecauseoftheirrace. Numerous foreign academics and activists are being refused entry to the US to attend a conference due to their ideology and/or the ideology of the conference not being to the likingoftheUSStateDepartment. Language minorities are facing discrimination and hostility from the “EnglishOnly”movement. US government agent's provocateurs are encouraging some people, as in the World Trade Center bombing or within militia groups, to carry out a bombing or other terroristact. The judge sentences you to prison. Then the prison officials sentence you to hell…Prisoners are being handcuffed or hogtied and forced to lap their food like dogs from plates shoved under their faces…nonviolent drug offenders are thrown in with dangerous murderers, rapists and robbers, despite court orders to segregate them…guards are kicking inmates in the groin, siccing dogs on them…female prisoners are being beaten and raped by guards, sold for sex to male prisoners, taken off the grounds to work as prostitutes, forced to perform stripteases for corrections officers (14 states do not outlaw sexual contact between correctional staff and prisoners),
women's sex acts are photographed by guards, prisoners of both genders are kept naked or in their underwear, and monitored bytheoppositesex…maleprisonersareslain, with impunity…guards are using tear gas, Mace and pepper spray against prisoners in handcuffs or locked in their cells…prisoners are not protected from assaults, physical sexual, by other prisoners…guards instigate fights between prisoners…inmates are kept in shackles, belly chains and handcuffs at all times when outside their cells, even in the shower…chain gangs are resurrected…guards who report abuses risk reprisals from prison officials…the California Correction Officers union makes largepoliticalcontributionstopublicofficials and prosecutors so that the guards can continuetoactwithimpunity. Increasingly, those incarcerated in the US, now approaching two million in number, are seeing their rights and privileges taken away or seriously curtailed in regard to academic classes, vocational training, reading materials, sports, exercise, prison law libraries, access to free legal advice, ease of appealingtheircase,accesstomedia.Theyare being charged for room and board, for doctor visits, forbidden to receive packages, forced to shave off beards and long hair and remove earrings; their phone use is limited to a few minutes a week, visits to one hour a month, visiting family members are treated rudely and subjected to humiliating searches and disrobing, prisoners are transferred to other prisons very far from their families; HIVpositive and terminally ill prisoners are denied special care, asthmatics are not monitored, those on anti-psychotic medications miss their doses, hypertensive's cannot get proper diets; prisoners are confined to cell for all but a few hours a week; lightsareonincells24hoursaday. In a new prison being built 3,000 feet up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, windows in each cell command spectacular views of the valley below. Prison officials are planning to smoke thewindowssoinmatescan'tseeout. Various levels of government agencies are seizing bank accounts of men who supposedly are deadbeat dads, but it's later determinedthattheyaren't. Educational institutions are being forced to allow military recruiters on campus to avoid losing government grants for student aid and otherpurposes. The US military is carrying out one of its many urban exercises, such as this one described in Massachusetts: “Last week Navy Seals landed from helicopters on top of some buildings, rappelled down the building s and had fun and games shooting and throwing dummy explosives around. They woke half the city of Lowell. Early that evening our house shook and the windows rattled violentlyasseveralhelicoptersflewoveratno morethat200feet.” In some of their exercises in the US, the militaryusesliveammunition. In driver, stopped by the police, tapes the encounter. When he goes to the local police station to complain about his treatment, he is askedtohandthetapeover.He'sthencharged withillegalwiretapping. Intercity buses and trains are being boarded by DEA agents to conduct searches of passengers' belongings. Passengers are assuredthatit'sall“voluntary”. Law enforcement authorities of various stripes are routinely confiscating a computer from the home of someone charged with drug something or other…or whatever…They take the computer back to the office where the good ol' boys can have a thigh-slappin' time reading the personal mail. There's no telling when they'll get around to returning the computer (Tobecontinuednextweek)
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Celebrating Olu Jacobs at 70
By CHIKA EZEANYA t has become fashionable – pertinent, some would argue – for those who choose to pen their views about Nigeria to switch to a negative default setting prior to processing their thoughts. We live in times when one can demand for and receive prescription painkillers for the symptoms experienced daily, after perusing reports contained in the Nigeria news space. It is an era when kindergarten aged children, learning to read and write, will pick a newspaper and spell D-E-A-D on every single page, and perhaps, play games with two different daily newspapers on which will boast more occurrence of D-E-A-D. Yet, it is expedient at this time, more than ever, that we identify and celebrate individuals who have chosen to create an atmosphere around themselves that we covet as our national culture. As Olu Jacob celebrates his 70th birthday, one can confidently state that he is one man who has, within his sphere of influence and profession, maintained a grace that is uncommon in our times. Finding himself by calling and training in a scandal-friendly industry, Olu Jacobs has maintained his integrity; never for once has he been linked to any form of indignity,
high or low. When adultery, senseless divorce, perversion, and every imaginable manifestation of low-life daily make the news in Nollywood, Olu Jacobs has unfailingly come out unscathed. He has remained married to the delectable Joke Silva who consistently glows like a teenager who has just fallen in love for the first time. Never for once has Olu Jacobs been heard mouthing ethnic sentiments in his description of the Nigerian film industry.
On his 70th Birthday, Nigeria has a man to celebrate in Olu Jacobs. Although close to two decades older than the independent nation, Olu Jacobs represents the new breed of Nigerians who will soon, hopefully populate the country’s geographical space.
When it has become the trend, for instance, for some actors and producers to make such statements as “Yoruba movies are the best” “Igbo actors are better than others” “Hausa movies are beyond Nollywood” and other such divisive assertions that expose the closed mindedness of those who utter them, Olu Jacobs, a bridge builder, would always judge each movie according to its merits, and approach his analysis of the industry with uncommon broad mindedness. He has maintained the highest level of professionalism with his colleagues, producers, directors and marketers, choosing - like the elder he is not to keep quiet about the decay in the industry, but without personalizing or sectionalizing his utterances. Don’t be deceived, he is proud of his Yoruba roots, as every African ought to be of his primary nationality, but he appears to have understood that life, to be lived to the full must never be approached from an either/or perspective, but from a both/and viewpoint. We live to learn from each other, not to hate, contest with or castigate each other. Never for once has Olu Jacobs been linked with fraud, embezzlement or some other political maneuverings, be it within the Actors Guild of Nigeria or at the macro
level, when it comes to wining and dining with the notoriously corrupt Nigerian political class. Not that it is unbecoming of one to leverage on one’s talents and popularity to make “important friends,” but Olu Jacobs has consistently maintained his professionalism by standing apart, even shunning the political space of Nigeria. Except when called upon to promote certain humanitarian or charitable causes, he has been content to act his scripts out and retire to enjoy life with his family. Nothing is inherently wrong with a Wyclef Jean trying his hands on the Haitian presidency or Youssou N’Dour aiming a shot at Senegal’s topmost position, or even George Opong Weah vowing to rule Liberia in his lifetime, but there is profound wisdom in the proverb that says that a hunter who has only one arrow to shoot does not shoot with careless aim. Olu Jacobs has lived his single lifetime with dedication to his calling and training, wavering neither to the left nor to the right. On his 70th Birthday, Nigeria has a man to celebrate in Olu Jacobs. Although close to two decades older than the independent nation, Olu Jacobs represents the new breed of Nigerians who will soon, hopefully populate the country’s geographical space.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Discourse Agenda for looters I By JAAFAR JAAFAR
hate calculations right from my kindergarten days. I was then good at 1+2=3 and some simple multiplications that did not go beyond 2x3=6; anything that goes beyond this looked more of Mandarin to me. I later found myself in a state of cognitive dissonance at Kofar Nassarawa Primary School when figures were slowly juxtaposed with alphabets. In my college and university days, nothing significantly changed. Maths remained like cockroach to me. But by sheer providence of objective questions, I 'rigged' my way to become sophomore when I passed Maths for Social Science with E during my university days. Can you see OBJ's (read Obasanjo if you like) rigging power? Attahiru Jega (yes, Jega, when he was the VC of BUK) then signed my certificate (of return)! Today's discourse is not mainly about Maths but rather about the calculation of loot and setting an agenda for looters. Looting is not alien to Nigeria and Nigerians. It is like a trait in our genetic makeup which makes us vintage Nigerians. A shoe shiner can rub Stella Pomade on your shoes as Kiwi neutral. A sugarcane seller will palm foamy part of the cane on naive kids as the sweatiest part. A tax collector will print his personal invoice. Construction companies will tamper with the initial contract specification or use low calibre metal rods on overhead bridge in order to accommodate 15 percent kickback. This is how we draw ourselves back. Now let us steer the discourse back to the issue of calculation. I was really amazed recently when I read a tweet revealing the mind-blowing power of a billion naira. The tweet says if a person steals N2 billion, and he
is spending N50, 000 daily, it will take him 100 years to spend the money. You see, from invective, rumour, humour, down to preaching, one sees all manner of stories in the social media. When your mind got wounded by a wildest rumour today, you may be healed tomorrow with a dose of fact. Such is the nature of social media. Despite my congenital numerophobia, I had to make the calculations to erase the doubt in my mind. Here we go: 365 days make a year. Yes. So if you spend N50, 000 daily for 365 days, you will spend a total sum of N18, 250,000. Right. When you multiply N18, 250,000 by 100 (years), you will arrive at N1, 825, 000, 000. Still, you have a remaining N175 million. So if one wishes to be fikish, one can add 25 days 'accrued' from the 25 leap years in every century. With just the leap year spoil, you can come up with 'something' that can drill a couple of boreholes at IkareAkoko or build a ward at Yadakunya Leprosy Hospital. Dear looter, do you know how many dialysis machines N1 billion can buy? I learn that the cost of dialysis machine is in the region of $15, 000 (N2.4 million) to $60, 000 (N9 million). So if you divide 1 billion by 2.4 million, you will arrive at about 416 million units of dialysis machines. Isn't this amount more than enough to decorate our hospitals with dialysis and X-ray machines? Here, a looter who stole N2 billion can save two things: lives and 1 billion naira. If they can withdraw the money from your numerous proxy accounts or haul back their loot from the Swiss vaults, many people with renal problem, who otherwise would suffer to death, can be saved. In Nigeria, you will think buying the equipment is more difficult than buying drones or owning nuclear technology. Why don't we improve the
standard of our hospitals this year, and then focus on another problem the following year? There are many members of the National Assembly who can give out N1 billion the way we give N20 donation for mosque maintenance or offertory in church. In the Customs Service, there are many billionaires who can feed millions with just a cup from the kegs of their wealth. Likewise in the extractive industry and the Civil Service, there are enough billionaires to make life better for Nigerians. Surprisingly, these billionaires do not only evade charity but also tax. A local council will force a poor roadside vulcanizer to pay tax but cannot collect ground rent from the rich. Paradox! If a pension fund looter can be 'cleaver' enough to steal Old Age Pensioners' (OAPs) lifetime saving, I wonder why he couldn't have the onus to commit some percentage of the money to charity. With Boko Haram killing innocent Nigerians openly in pockets of attacks, corruption is secretly executing genocide against Nigerians on a Richter scale. I was recently privileged to see a bill of quantity and cost of building a four classroom block with two offices. The ultramodern classroom, which was build at the cost of N15 million, has long-span aluminium roofing sheets, suspended ceiling, tiled floor, extra-strong doors, among others. So if these looters can be conscientious enough to give some percentage of their loot to education, the literacy level will improve. Looters live in castles, while their siblings and relations live in huts or rented multiroom apartments that can pass as pigpen. They take their children to study abroad but they cannot pay the school fees of their
Dear looter, do you know how many dialysis machines N1 billion can buy? I learn that the cost of dialysis machine is in the region of $15, 000 (N2.4 million) to $60, 000 (N9 million). So if you divide 1 billion by 2.4 million, you will arrive at about 416 million units of dialysis machines. Isn't this amount more than enough to decorate our hospitals with dialysis and Xray machines? nephews and nieces studying at home. Can't you see how heartless we can be? Life expectancy in Nigeria is just about 50 years. So this makes it somewhat impossible for a looter to live for 100 year, that is even if he began stealing public funds when he was being pushed in a buggy. The 10 billion Tafa Balogun loot could take him centuries to spend. James Ibori loot will take him up to the new millennium. Abacha loot, which is calculated in billions of dollars, could even last for eternity. Apart from our homegrown looters, we have these multinationals who feign commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). According to a blog injusticefacts.wordpress.com, "the top 200 corporations [in the world] are bigger than the combined economies of 180 countries." But it's dismaying to note that most of these corporations made the Bribe Payers Index (BPI). The fact is that if all the bribe givers will refuse to give, there won't be a taker anymore and life will be better for Nigerians. I just wish the looters will see logic in my agenda.
Focus The Need to Reposition Civic Education in Nigeria By SUSAN ABUBAKAR
ducation is the process by which people develop abilities, attitudes and behaviour that would yield positive results to the society in which they find themselves. As a social institution, education plays three major functions; first, it promotes cultural transmission from generation to generation. Secondly, it facilitates the training of individuals in the society to meet special roles. Lastly, it promotes modification of inherited culture through the development of new knowledge. Civic education is that type of education that involves the process of making people aware of the social and political rights and responsibilities in the society. It refers to educating people, so they can fully participate in the daily running of sociopolitical affairs of their nation. The educational system is responsible for basic literacy.. it is therefore apparent that civic education is instrumental to the achievement of a politically literate society.
Recent developments in Nigeria's sociopolitical life have made the need for reviving civic education, which for so many years has remained in a state of collapse, a necessity. These developments include: power tussles within and among political parties, the increasing rate of acts of terror and violent crimes, stipulations that Nigeria may disintegrate in the nearest future, anchored on contemporary social problems among many others. As these dramas continue to unfold, there is need for Nigerians to be properly educated, informed and enlightened about their pride of place in the country called Nigeria, their rights and privileges as Nigerians, and their responsibility to work
together to foster unity, cohesion, peace and to save Nigeria from collapse. Civic education is a collective responsibility of every member of the family, community, religious institutions, businesses enterprises and above all schools where any member of the society is behaving in a manner contrary to our social expectations as Nigerians. It is the responsibility of those members of the society around such individual, especially adults, to caution such a person and put him on the right track. The type of civic education that should be encouraged in contemporary Nigeria is one that promotes political and national consciousness among the youths of
Civic education is a collective responsibility of every member of the family, community, religious institutions, businesses enterprises and above all schools where any member of the society is behaving in a manner contrary to our social expectations as Nigerians.
Nigeria wherever they may be found; at their homes, schools and other social institutions. Youths come first in this regard because they are the leaders of tomorrow and the future is in their hands. Secondly, civic education should encourage maximum respect for the country's constitution and the rule of law by everyone in the society irrespective of age, political position, religion as well as ethnic and cultural affiliation. Thirdly, Nigeria's new civic education should pride itself in the recognition and acceptance of minority voices in the national scheme of things. It should encourage equity, justice and fairness in the everyday activities of the society. The implications of repositioning civic education to meet with the demands of Nigeria's changing political culture are enormous, but above all, it will result in the actualization of a free, democratic, just, egalitarian Nigeria; produce a united, strong and self-dependent nation; ensure a great and dynamic economy and place Nigeria on the map of nations with bright opportunities for her citizens.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
With Ohia Israel
Understanding Malaria M
alaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite, Plasmodium, which infects red blood cells. Malaria is characterized by cycles of chills, fever, pain, and sweating. Historical records suggest malaria has infected humans since the beginning of mankind. The name "mal aria" (meaning "bad air" in Italian) was first used in English in 1740 by H. Walpole when describing the disease. The term was shortened to "malaria" in the 20th century. C. Laveran in 1880 was the first to identify the parasites in human blood. In 1889, R. Ross discovered that mosquitoes transmitted malaria. Of the four common species that cause malaria, the most serious type is Plasmodium falciparum malaria. It can be lifethreatening. However, another relatively new species, Plasmodium knowlesi, is also a dangerous species that is typically found only in long-tailed and pigtail macaque monkeys. Like P. falciparum, P. knowlesi may be deadly to anyone infected. The other three common species of malaria (P. vivax, P. malariae, and P. ovale) are generally less serious and are usually not life-threatening. It is possible to be infected with more than one species of Plasmodium at the same time. Currently, about 2 million deaths per year worldwide are due to Plasmodium infections. The majority occur in children under 5 years of age in subSaharan African countries. There are about 400 million new cases per year worldwide. Most people diagnosed in the U.S. obtained their infection outside of the country, usually while living or traveling through an area where malaria is endemic. What are malaria symptoms and signs? The symptoms characteristic of malaria include flulike illness with fever, chills, muscle aches, and headache. Some patients develop nausea, vomiting, cough, and diarrhea. Cycles of chills, fever, and sweating that repeat every one, two, or three days are typical. There can sometimes be vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and yellowing (jaundice) of the skin and whites of the eyes due to destruction of red blood cells and liver cells. People with severe P. falciparum malaria can develop bleeding problems, shock, liver or kidney failure, central nervous system problems, coma, and can die from the infection or its complications. Cerebral malaria (coma, or altered mental status or seizures) can occur with severe P. falciparum infection. It is lethal if not treated quickly; even with treatment, about 15%-20% die. How is malaria transmitted? The life cycle of the malaria parasite (Plasmodium) is complicated and involves two hosts, humans and Anopheles mosquitoes. The disease is transmitted to humans when an infected Anopheles mosquito bites a person and injects the malaria parasites (sporozoites) into the blood. This is shown in Figure 1, where the illustration shows a mosquito taking a blood meal Sporozoites travel through the bloodstream to the liver, mature, and eventually infect the human red blood cells. While in red blood cells, the parasites again develop until a mosquito takes a blood meal from an infected human and ingests human red blood cells containing the parasites. Then the parasites reach the Anopheles mosquito's stomach and eventually invade the mosquito salivary glands. When an Anopheles mosquito bites a human, these sporozoites complete and repeat the complex Plasmodium life cycle. P. ovale and P. vivax can further complicate the cycle by producing dormant stages (hypnozoites) that may not develop for weeks to years. Where is malaria a particular problem? Malaria is a particular problem and a major one in areas of Asia, Africa, and Central and South America. Unless precautions are taken, anyone living in or traveling to a country where malaria is present can get the disease. Malaria occurs in about 100 countries; approximately 40% of the world
population is at risk for contracting malaria. What is the incubation period for malaria? The period between the mosquito bite and the onset of the malarial illness is usually one to three weeks (seven to 21 days). This initial time period is highly variable as reports suggest that the range of incubation periods may range from four days to one year. The usual incubation period may be increased when a person has taken an inadequate course of malaria prevention medications. Certain types of malaria (P. vivax and P. ovale) parasites can also take much longer, as long as eight to 10 months, to cause symptoms. These parasites remain dormant (inactive or hibernating) in the liver cells during this time. Unfortunately, some of these dormant parasites can remain even after a patient recovers from malaria, so the patient can get sick again. This situation is termed relapsing malaria. What is the treatment for malaria? Three main factors determine treatments: the infecting species of Plasmodium parasite, the clinical situation of the patient (for example, adult, child, or pregnant female with either mild or severe malaria), and the drug susceptibility of the infecting parasites. Drug susceptibility is determined by the geographic area where the infection was acquired. Different areas of the world have malaria types that are resistant to certain medications. The correct drugs for each type of malaria must be prescribed by a doctor who is familiar with malaria treatment protocols. Since people infected with P. falciparum malaria can die (often because of delayed treatment), immediate treatment for P. falciparum malaria is necessary. Mild malaria can be treated with oral medication; severe malaria (one or more symptoms of either impaired consciousness/coma, severe anemia, renal failure, pulmonary edema, acute respiratory distress syndrome, shock, disseminated intravascular coagulation, spontaneous bleeding, acidosis, hemoglobinuria [hemoglobin in the urine], jaundice, repeated generalized convulsions, and/or parasitemia [parasites in the blood] of > 5%) requires intravenous (IV) drug treatment and fluids in the hospital. Drug treatment of malaria is not always easy. Chloroquine phosphate (Aralen) is the drug of choice for all malarial parasites except for chloroquineresistant Plasmodium strains. Although almost all strains of P. malariae are susceptible to chloroquine, P. falciparum, P. vivax, and even some P. ovale strains have been reported as resistant to chloroquine. Unfortunately, resistance is usually noted by drug-treatment failure in the individual patient. There are, however, multiple drugtreatment protocols for treatment of drugresistant Plasmodium strains (for example, quinine sulfate plus doxycycline [Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox] or tetracycline [Achromycin], or clindamycin [Cleocin], or atovaquone-proguanil [Malarone]). There are specialized labs that can test the patient's parasites for resistance, but this is not done frequently. Consequently, treatment is usually based on the majority of Plasmodium species diagnosed and its general drug-resistance pattern for the country or world region where the patient became infested. For example, P. falciparum acquired in the Middle East countries is usually susceptible to chloroquine, but if it's acquired in subSahara African countries, it's usually resistant to chloroquine. The WHO's treatment policy, recently established in 2006, is to treat all cases of uncomplicated P. falciparum malaria with artemisininderived combination therapy (ACTs). ACTs are drug combinations (for example, artesunate-amodiaquine, artesunatemefloquine, artesunate-pyronaridine, dihydroartemisinin-piperaquine, and chlorproguanil-dapsoneartesunate) used to treat drug-resistant P. falciparum. Unfortunately, as of 2009, a number of P. falciparum-infected individuals have parasites resistant to ACT drugs. New drug
treatments of malaria are currently under study because Plasmodium species continue to produce resistant strains that frequently spread to other areas. One promising drug class under investigation is the spiroindolones, which have been effective in stopping P. falciparum experimental infections. Is malaria a particular problem during pregnancy? Yes. Malaria may pose a serious threat to a pregnant woman and her fetus. Malaria infection in pregnant women may be more severe than in women who are not pregnant. Malaria may also increase the risk of problems with the pregnancy, including prematurity, abortion, and stillbirth. Statistics indicate that in sub-Saharan Africa, between 75,000-200,000 infants die from malaria per year; worldwide estimates indicate about 2 million children die from malaria each year. Therefore, all pregnant women who are living in or traveling to a malaria risk area should consult a doctor and take prescription drugs (for example, sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine) to avoid contracting malaria. Treatment of malaria in the pregnant female is similar to the usual treatment described above; however, drugs such as primaquine (Primaquine), tetracycline (Achromycin, Sumycin), doxycycline, and halofantrine (Halfan) are not recommended as they may harm the fetus. In addition to monitoring the patient for anemia, an OB/GYN specialist often is consulted for further management. Is malaria a particular problem for children? Yes. All children, including young infants, living in or traveling to malaria risk areas should take antimalarial drugs (for example, chloroquine and mefloquine [Lariam]). Although the recommendations for most antimalarial drugs are the same as for adults, it is crucial to use the correct dosage for the child. The dosage of drug depends on the age and weight of the child. A specialist in pediatric infectious diseases is recommended for consultation in prophylaxis (prevention) and treatment of children. Since an overdose of an antimalarial drug can be fatal, all antimalarial (and all other) drugs should be stored in childproof containers well out of the child's reach. How do people avoid getting malaria? If people must travel to an area known to have malaria, they need to find out which medications to take, and take them as prescribed. Current CDC recommendations suggest individuals begin taking antimalarial drugs about one to two weeks before traveling to a malaria infested area and for four weeks after leaving the area (prophylactic or preventative therapy). Doctors, travel clinics, or the health department can advise individuals as to what medicines to take to keep from getting malaria. Currently, there is no vaccine available for malaria, but researchers are trying to develop one. Avoid travel to or through countries where malaria occurs if possible. If people must go to areas where malaria occurs, they should take all of the prescribed preventive medicine. In addition, the 2010 CDC international travel recommendations suggest the following precautions be taken in malaria and other disease-infested areas of the world; the following CDC recommendations are not unique for malaria but are posted by the CDC in their malarial prevention publication. Avoid outbreaks: To the extent possible, travelers should avoid traveling in areas of known malaria outbreaks. The CDC Travelers' Health web page provides alerts and information on regional disease transmission patterns and outbreak alerts (http://www.cdc.gov/travel).Be aware of peak exposure times and places: Exposure to arthropod bites may be reduced if travelers modify their patterns of activity or behavior. Although mosquitoes may bite at any time of
If people must travel to an area known to have malaria, they need to find out which medications to take, and take them as prescribed. Current CDC recommendations suggest individuals begin taking antimalarial drugs about one to two weeks before traveling to a malaria infested area and for four weeks after leaving the area (prophylactic or preventative therapy). Doctors, travel clinics, or the health department can advise individuals as to what medicines to take to keep from getting malaria.
day, peak biting activity for vectors of some diseases (for example, dengue, chikungunya) is during daylight hours. Vectors of other diseases (for example, malaria) are most active in twilight periods (for example, dawn and dusk) or in the evening after dark. Avoiding the outdoors or focusing preventive actions during peak hours may reduce risk. Wear appropriate clothing: Travelers can minimize areas of exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, boots, and hats. Tucking in shirts and wearing socks and closed shoes instead of sandals may reduce risk. Repellents or insecticides such as permethrin can be applied to clothing and gear for added protection; this measure is discussed in detail below. Check for ticks: Travelers should be advised to inspect themselves and their clothing for ticks during outdoor activity and at the end of the day. Prompt removal of attached ticks can prevent some infections. Bed nets: When accommodations are not adequately screened or air conditioned, bed nets are essential to provide protection and to reduce discomfort caused by biting insects. If bed nets do not reach the floor, they should be tucked under mattresses. Bed nets are most effective when they are treated with an insecticide or repellent such as permethrin. Pretreated, long-lasting bed nets can be purchased prior to traveling, or nets can be treated after purchase. The permethrin will be effective for several months if the bed net is not washed. (Longlasting pretreated nets may be effective for much longer.) Insecticides: Aerosol insecticides, vaporizing mats, and mosquito coils can help to clear rooms or areas of mosquitoes; however, some products available internationally may contain pesticides that are not registered in the United States. Insecticides should always be used with caution, avoiding direct inhalation of spray or smoke.Optimum protection can be provided by applying repellents. The CDC recommended insect repellent should contain up to 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-mtoluamide), which is the most effective mosquito repellent for adults and children over 2 months of age. What is the prognosis (outcome) for people with malaria? The majority of people who become infected with P. malariae, vivax, or ovale do well and the fevers abate after about 96 hours. However, in endemic areas, reinfection is common. Malaria caused by P. falciparum or P. knowlesi, even when treated, have outcomes ranging from fair to poor, depending on how the parasites react to treatment. Untreated people often die from these infections. In general, patients who are infants, children under the age of 5 (especially in sub-Saharan countries), and those with depressed immune systems (for example, AIDS or cancer patients) have a more guarded prognosis.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Guest Column Fire from the Mountains... By OLUSEGUN ADENIYI
n the last couple of days, I have had to imagine the tragedy of last Sunday at Barakin Ladi and Riyom, Plateau State, when Senator Gyang Dantong led the procession to give a final burial rites to their kiths and kins. It was bad enough that the people being buried were brutally massacred in their homes before one now considered the indignity of a mass burial which in the circumstance was the most plausible thing to do. Unfortunately, it was at that emotionally vulnerable state at the scene of a multiple funeral that Dantong and others were callously ambushed in a second round of violence that ultimately consumed no fewer than 40 people. Given the nature of the crisis which led to that bloody madness, it would be very naïve of anybody to consider this as the end of a cycle of revenge that brought about the pogrom. And that is where the federal and state governments have now been left with a serious challenge which would require tact and commitment on the part of critical stakeholders. But evidently, the first major problem now is how to bury the Senator under the current atmosphere without negatively impacting on the peace dynamics in the state. All the political, traditional and religious leaders in Plateau State and those outside, and who have substantial influence, must join forces if we are not to have an escalation of this tragedy. What happened at the weekend was almost like a scene from a horror movie. That explains why it is nothing but gratuitous insult for some people to be dwelling on the irrelevant fact that there were no gunshot wounds on (some of) the victims who were, to all intents and purposes, simply murdered. There is therefore need for a serious inquisition into the role of the security agencies at the scene of the tragedy to ascertain their level of professionalism in such a panicky environment. Recounting the incidence, Rwang, younger brother of Senator Gyang Dantong, said: “When the Senator and others arrived at the burial site, they parked their cars some distance away because the road is not motorable. As the procession for the mass burial was going on, there were sudden gunshots. The shooting came from the direction where they had parked their cars and so there was no way they could reach their cars. “The STF soldier then advised everybody to run for safety because he said that the guns were more powerful than the ones they had. All the people then ran towards the hills to escape, by climbing the steep hills. They struggled to climb as the shooting continued. In fact, the bullets were just flying over their heads. It was in that process that they lost strength, fell and collapsed. From the direction and the manner they were shooting, it was obvious that my brother was the target of attack. He was crying and asking
for glucose, but in the bush and in that circumstance there was nothing anybody could do than to take him to the hospital. They were then put in a Hillux Van and rushed to the Barakin Ladi General Hospital, but he did not make it as he died on the way.” While we share the grief of Rwang and commiserate with his family and the other families who lost loved ones, it is important for those who are already talking carelessly to understand that making divisive and incendiary statements at a time like this can only compound the situation. Whatever the grievances (real and imagined) by the contending parties, this is not an auspicious moment to air them. When the tears have dried and the pains have subsided, there definitely will be a revisit of several issues that are critical to finding lasting peace in the state. But as Hon Victor Lar pointed out on Monday, the Biron lawmaker who fell is a Hon (Gyang) Fulani. That is not only instructive but says so much about the endless possibilities for peace and accommodation by all the peoples in what has become a theatre of violence and bloodletting. It must be said that the ethnic conflicts on the Plateau and the resultant political tensions that have been pervasive over the years arose principally as a result of the politicisation of accumulated grievances. And it is not helped by the ethnic-settler controversy that is founded on division and hate. This is an issue that has become a serious challenge not only in Plateau but in several places across the nation and until, and unless, we address it, we will never be able to build a united society. Rather than politics of accommodation, what has been evident in Plateau State over the years is an unnecessary battle for supremacy. But it is not too late for a political negotiation that will put an end to the ethnic strife and bloodshed. For that to happen though, it is important for all critical stakeholders to rise to condemn this massacre, not rationalise it, because nothing can, or indeed should, justify such coldblooded murder. It is also important to avoid a reprisal that can only worsen an already bad situation. It is natural that at a time like this emotions often run high and reason can be at a very low ebb. Yet except the relevant authorities move in quickly, (and I am not talking of drafting in some military men who will run away at the sight of danger as happened last Sunday), there could be further acts of anger and retaliation between the contending parties. And this will be most unhelpful. We should never pretend that the challenge at hand is an easy one but it is also not insurmountable. I recall that the former Governor of Kaduna State, now a Senator, Muhammed Makarfi, faced a situation similar to, if not worse than, that of Plateau when he assumed office in 1999. But through meaningful and consistent dialogue sessions with critical stakeholders, he was able to find
It is particularly worrisome that no arrests are made after these killings, implying that there is probably no real grip on the situation. This only encourages what has become a national culture of impunity, because most people will feel some qualms about taking up weapons to kill their neighbours, and those with whom they have no issues at the slightest provocation, if they have an even greater fear of the efficiency of security operatives.
accommodation for the leading institutional actors, especially within Southern Kaduna. We must explore all the endless possibilities for peace, though that is contingent on not bringing in mercenaries who may exploit the situation to further their own nefarious agenda. The fear is that there may already be some tell-tale signs in that direction and we know that without peaceful coexistence and tolerance, the city of Jos and indeed Plateau State, will be in perpetual conflict. Each side will keep trying to eliminate the other through what has become a bilateral genocide, to borrow a phrase coined in Rwanda. To therefore put the brakes on the violence there is the need to checkmate all appeals to hate, force and guilt by association. In that direction, I will recommend for the people a 75 second video clip which, in a different context, puts this issue in proper perspective: http://www.seedsofpeace.o rg/#. At the end of the day, all the contending parties must come to the sober realization that they have only been losing lives, wealth and their peace of mind since the conflicts began. Their children are being wrongly socialized because their religious and cultural teachings about the sanctity of life are being cheerfully violated. The local economy has crashed and a land that was a haven of peace and agricultural productivity now exports only tales of man's inhumanity to man. The failure of our security agencies and whatever may be their current tactics for dealing with the challenge in Jos is also evident. It is particularly worrisome that no arrests are made after these killings, implying that there is probably no real grip on the situation. This only encourages what has become a national culture of impunity, because most people will feel some qualms about taking up weapons to kill their neighbours, and those with whom they have no issues at the slightest provocation, if they have an even greater fear of the efficiency of security operatives. As the nation therefore mourns the distinguished Senator and other victims of the tragedy, let the people of Plateau State embrace the legendary admonition of Ukpabi Asika: “Enough is enough”. Fraudulent Subsidy Claims President Goodluck Jonathan last Thursday established the second Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede Committee to verify and reconcile the findings contained in its earlier report. Explaining the reason for this development, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the presidential committee, expected to submit its report tomorrow, was to give marketers who have been disputing the report the opportunity to prove their claims. While this is okay, the tone of her remark was rather patronising. It is almost as if Nigerians are expected to clap for the current
efforts to retrieve the stolen money when the same government allowed the monumental fraud to occur in the first place. According to her, “when we finish with that then the next stage will be for us to try and get our money back. We must get some of those resources back. Let's wait for the resources to come back. I am sure Nigerians will like that and then we can take it from there. President Jonathan has directed the 15-member committee headed by Mr. Aigboje AigImoukhuede to begin work immediately and conclude its assignment by 5.pm on Friday, July 13, 2012 as a prelude to immediate action on all identified cases of fraud.” While we await the second outcome, the first Imoukhuede Report is particularly revealing. Some of the highlights include the lack of evidence of sales proceeds in commercial banks (which then means
Gov. Jang monies so collected were pocketed) based on banks' available records at the date of verification. Similarly, 88 companies were discovered to have collected subsidy payments without the signatures of external auditors and independent inspectors on shore tank certificates. It is instructive that in the last couple of weeks, especially since the ill-fated Farouk Lawan-led House of Representatives Committee on the Subsidy Regime began its sessions, the federal government has set up a plethora of committees but we are yet to see any results. Rather interestingly, former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, whose appointment into one of these committees is being touted as evidence of transparency was lamenting this week that were he to be saddled with the assignment, he would smoke out the oil thieves. While I will be very surprised if anybody is brought to book on this monumental looting, it will be comforting to at least name and shame all the perpetrators. I am not even sure that will happen. And that for me is sad, very sad!
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Dame Patience Jonathan
Chief Seriake Dickson Bayelsa State Governor
the treasury and the political space -- that was at the heart of the several years of overt and covert fighting and animosity between both men. With Sylva out of the equation, Bayelsa State is being assaulted and taken over by the Goodluck Jonathan camp and from two fronts: On the one side is Jonathan's henchman, Chief Amalate Johnny Turner. On the other end is Mrs. Jonathan, the one wearing the pant and the hat. Lady Macbeth! As the First Lady of Bayelsa state, she was said to have her own shadow cabinet with her own budgetary allocation. Today, as the First Lady of Nigeria, she is said to run a vetting agency that determines who gets what and when. Her raw ambition is boundless. As Kaanayo Nwachukwu said, “Even the wives of Idi Amin, Eyadema, Omar Bongo, Mugabe, Charles Taylor, Jammeh, Mbasogo, Kerekou, Gbagbo, Ben-Ali, Mubarak, Ghaddafi, Olusegun Obasanjo, Abacha, Babangida, Rawlings, Dos Santos, Idris Deby, Paul Biya, Zenawi, Afewarki, Mobutu, Kabila, Bokassa and the rest of them who have ruled and ruined and continue to rule and ruin Africa are not half as ambitious as Patience Goodluck Jonathan.” And President Goodluck Jonathan? Politically, he is what he is; and what he is, is an accretion of traits that many men and many leaders despise. This is a man who was better off in a zoology or hydrobiology laboratory in his hometown or in Port Harcourt. Frankly, he was not cut out for the series of political positions he has found himself in. In this instance, he should have known that allowing his wife to be appointed Permanent Secretary was a bad and lousy idea. He couldn't tell, and he couldn't sense it. A leader with a pouch of political sagacity and acumen would have known that this move, like many other moves that are associated with him and or his wife, was going to be controversial and dumb. But what did this President do or say? Nothing! And now, another mess! Oh what a mess!
The Governor, the President and the First Lady By SABELLA OGBOBODE ABIDDE
am not, and no one I know, is sure of what to make of the recent appointment of Mrs. Patience Jonathan, Nigeria's First Lady, as a Permanent Secretary in the Bayelsa State civil service. Hours earlier, I had received a call informing of the imminent announcement. Frankly, I dismissed it, not as a cruel joke, but as something that was so silly and so far out and so improbably that not even the nastiest of the most malevolent and sadistic politician anywhere in Nigeria would do, or attempt to do. And even for a cloak-and-dagger state like Bayelsa, stupidity and psychosis must surely have its limits. Or so I thought. I was sure, so very sure of such an unlikely announcement that I quickly dismissed my caller. Not long thereafter, the second and third call came in. Minutes later, it was all over the Nigerian media and social network. The news and its immediate and future repercussions assaulted my senses and sensibility. As an indigene of the state -- and as someone who has written extensively about the going-on in Bayelsa and Ijaw politics -- I knew that many Ijaw politicians were capable of many reprehensible lows and stupidities. But this? This is something else: the vile and degenerate imagination, and the unguarded and runaway impulse of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson. As we say in vernacular/broken English in my old neighborhood at Oseni Street Lawanson, “this man carry first…he carry first for stupidity and yeyerity.” Even Alamieyeseigha -- that wasteful and pompous and semi-literate former governor -- didn't descend this low. And not even the
most recent governor, Timpre Sylva, dreamed up and implemented such foolishness. It took the combined thinking and effort of Dickson and Jonathan and his wife, to come up with such a sordid and vile exercise. Really, why would you (even if you could), make such an appointment -- an appointment that is fraught with many unanswerable questions and knotty scenarios. From publicly available records, Mrs. Jonathan's combined years of service in both the Rivers and Bayelsa states civil services are not enough to elevate her to the position of a Permanent Secretary. Generally speaking, the ministries are staffed by career civil servants; and each ministry is headed by a Permanent Secretary, who reports directly to the governor. Other than coordinating the activity of their respective ministry, Permanent secretaries are responsible for implementing government policy. Mrs. Jonathan was a low-level civil servant. We also know that since her days as the wife of the Deputy Governor, she has basically been a truant who collected her monthly salary for many, many years. A few questions: Now that she has been appointed a Permanent Secretary, to whom would she be answerable? Henry Dickson? Who will have the balls or the audacity to reprimand her in the event of maladministration, infringements, or incompetence? Henry Dickson? What administrative skills does she have to function as a PermSec? What oral and written communication skills does she have to effectively perform her duties? And I mean all the aforelisted questions in practical terms. I guess she can always pay somebody
to do her job when she and her husband are mindlessly globetrotting. As the First Lady, she is no longer “an ordinary Nigerian.” As a result her presence is likely to distract from the daily reality of everyday civil servants in the state. This is a woman who travels with a dozen or more official and non-official personnel in her entourage and a motorcade that habitually contains a dozen or more cars and motorcycles -- with sirens blazing. When she is in the air, the airspace is usually closed or restricted. For her personal safety and security, a dozen or so members of the security and intelligence community trail and watch over her. Now, how are Bayelsans, and her colleagues in whatever ministry she is assigned, going to cope with such personal-crowd, commotion and dislocation? Considering the personality of Patience Jonathan, and considering also her sense of self, she is likely to dominate, and then have the government under her armpit. We saw a glimpse of her true color when her husband was the deputy governor. We saw her true color when her husband was the governor. As the First Lady, she has shown the nation and the world the stuff she is made of. And the stuff she is made of is not pretty. Not at all! Now, if Mr. Henry Dickson thinks he is a match for Mrs. Patience, well, he is mistaken. Virtually every Bayelsan knows this: they know who is truly in control of the state's political appointments and its treasury. They know who control who and what? They know where the power lies. While it is true that the problem between Governor Sylva and Mr. Goodluck Jonathan is complicated, it was this control -- control of
In this instance, he should have known that allowing his wife to be appointed Permanent Secretary was a bad and lousy idea. He couldn't tell, and he couldn't sense it. A leader with a pouch of political sagacity and acumen would have known that this move, like many other moves that are associated with him and or his wife, was going to be controversial and dumb.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Controversy What has Population got to do with it? By MOHAMMED ISMAIL
ecently, President Goodluck Jonathan has mulled the idea of sending an executive bill to the National Assembly for the enactment of a law for the regulation of birth in the country. As expected, the statement has generated heated arguments majority of which are caustic. The President mulled the idea while swearing in the National Population Commission leadership in Abuja saying that if birth is not regulated in the country, sooner than later the country will experience an imminent population explosion. Behind the veiled reference of population explosion which the President forwarded as a panacea against the consequences of exponential population growth, there is a subtle attempt by the President to attribute that the dense population of the country, is responsible for the failure of government to provide basic amenities to Nigerians as a result of which, the need to control the population, became inherent. It is in this context, that one may ask, what has population got to do with it? Investigation has shown that, the most prosperous nations on earth are the ones that are populated. For instance, China, which is the most populous country on earth, harbors around two billion people, and yet, its bloated population has been its source of strength with functional infrastructural facilities such as good roads, state of the art transportation system and abundant electricity output, upon which the country's economy revolves. Despite its dense population, China was able to feed its teeming population and is even a net exporter of agricultural products. Through the agricultural sector alone, China has provided millions of job opportunities through a sustained agricultural policy which dates back to over 50 years. Equally, China has one of the most robust and enduring manufacturing sector which makes the country a force to reckon with in the manufacturing sector in the contemporary world economy, as a consequence of which, China became a net exporter of goods and services throughout the world, to the extent that there is virtually no country in the world today, that does not use one or two items manufactured in China, no matter its level of advancement. Similarly, India, is another example of a
country with vast population of about 1.2 billion people, yet its over bloated human capital has been put to good use and its massive population, does not constitute a serious burden to the national economy. Despite the fact that India was not blessed with crude oil and multitude of other mineral resources like Nigeria, it has nevertheless, succeeded in stamping its authority, as one of the fastest technologically advancing economies of the world. As it is, India has thrust itself as the world's software hub and a net exporter of software, a feat that has featured the country prominently, in the map of developing nations of the world with its economy on a fast trajectory. India has also placed itself as a formidable force in the manufacturing sector with the sector contributing immensely in the area of job creation, vis a vis the National Income, significantly. It is an irony that India, a country that is in all ramifications less endowed than Nigeria with an over bloated population, is doing better in almost every facet of social, political and economic life. It is worthy to note that as at the time Nigeria got her independence in 1960, Nigeria has better economic prospects in juxtaposition with India especially in consideration of the myriads of social and economic challenges facing India and its lesser natural endowments which is in sharp contrast with Nigeria. In the course of this discourse, mention must be made of Brazil, which hosted the just concluded earth summit where Nigeria's President dashed to when his country was engulfed by a sectarian crises between Muslim and Christian faithful after a bomb explosion rocked some Churches in Kaduna and Zaria respectively. Worthy of note, is that Brazil, a country with a population of about 200 Million people, is able to produce almost 100,000 Megawatts of electricity with 80
Behind the veiled reference of population explosion which the President forwarded as a panacea against the consequences of exponential population growth, there is a subtle attempt by the President to attribute that the dense population of the country, is responsible for the failure of government to provide basic amenities to Nigerians as a result of which, the need to control the population, became inherent. It is in this context, that one may ask, what has population got to do with it?
percent sourced from water and 20 percent through renewable energy. The human capital of Brazil was its major resource through which it harnessed its other potentials and attains its greatness. It
controlled population, considering some extant factors such as space and other competing demands that is associated with vast population but a glaring failure of his government to meet the basic responsibilities of a responsive government in the midst of growing insurgency, general restiveness and the rudderlessness, the Nigerian state is drifting into. It is palpable that the Nigerian state has failed to provide education for its teeming children which is the recipe for an enduring human capital development and is not making even a feeble attempt to restore our confidence in that direction. The education sector over the years was asphyxiated by insufficient budgetary provisions, massive corruption and official highhandedness. The power sector has remained comatose despite the injection of billions of dollars. Unemployment has continued to rise as a result of dearth of infrastructural facilities that is responsible for the mass defection of many industries to our close door neighbors. Our lack of ambition and leadership lethargy has made Nigeria to become a net importer of almost every good and service including refined petroleum products. The failure of governments over the years to use proceeds of crude oil to develop other sectors of the economy in conjuction with massive corruption by the leadership over the years have entrenched poverty in President Jonathan Nigeria, to the extent that 70 percent of Nigerians are living below should be noted that water which Brazil poverty level. uses to develop its power infrastructure, is a resource that is available in excess Therefore, if this warped logic of Mr. President, is aimed at invoking a volume in Nigeria. smokescreen to tell the people that absence The United States of America is another of population control mechanism in the success story in the midst of bloated past was responsible for our poverty, then population, yet it is the most successful that policy is already dead on arrival. economy in the world. It boasts of solid Instead, Mr. President should take infrastructure, advanced human population index and a better national and calculated measures in addressing the economic prospect. Suffice it to say that the myriads of challenges stunting our most prosperous nations on earth today progress vis a vis tackling the cankerworm are exactly the most populous. Going by of corruption that has become a sore blight this simple extrapolation, one would come in our corporate existence and made our to the conclusion that population is always economy to be lying prostrate over the a plus to a country well governed. Simple. years. Without planning and sound It is against the backdrop of the economic policies, I' am afraid, even if our foregoing, that the President's mulling of a population is depleted to only one million proposed population control mechanism people, we would still grapple with is seen as an afterthought especially in poverty and continue to reap more view of Nigeria's vast opportunities that harbinger of woes. Many countries have are either squandered on frivolous infinitesimally low populations, yet still, they are poverty personified. It is therefore grounds or are yet untapped. The President, from all intents and wise for President Goodluck to address the purposes, seems to make that remark, not lingering poverty that has dogged the necessarily due to the prospects of a country and allow the issue of population control to sort itself out.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Controversy Farouk Lawan/Otedola: Questions and More Questions
hen Femi Otedola reportedly broke the news that Farouk Lawan, the very same Farouk Lawan that a majority of the people almost defied in the wake of the release of the subsidy probe, demanded and collected bribe of $620,000 from him to keep Zenon's name out of the report, I was one of the, I'm sure, many people who felt Farouk Lawan was only being framed. I believed after all the years he has spent at the House of Representatives without any (obvious) stain on his name, he must be one of the clean ones. I believed it when he said the image of him in the video being circulated was a caricature. I believed him. I so desperately wanted the story to be untrue, how can Farouk Lawan be the same as the rest of them? Alas, the day after he denied receiving any money, he recanted, but said he wanted to use the money to expose Otedola and that he gave the money to one Jagaba Adams, the chairman of the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes. He also said that he wrote a letter to police to report the bribe. Otedola on his own part, I believe, very much in an attempt to whitewash his image claimed that there was no reason for Zenon to have been in the report since it was never a recipient of the oil subsidy as a diesel marketer, and that the dollar bills given to Farouk Lawan were marked and provided by the State Security operatives in a sting operation. On the side of Farouk Lawan, things look really bad. It will be indeed very difficult to continue to believe that Mr "Integrity" Farouk Lawan himself still has any integrity left. First, Lawan was said to have made about three nocturnal visits to Otedola to collect the bribe money. Channels TV made
Farouk look even worse when they replayed the session of the House in which Farouk sought to amend clauses 5 & 6 of the report to remove the names of Zenon and Synopsis. Things moved even from bad to the ridiculous when it was reported in the newspapers that a source who watched the video recordings of Lawan receiving the money said when his pockets were filled with the money, Lawan had opened his cap and stuffed the remaining wads therein! Now, a number of questions beg to be answered in the whole sordid episode, from the limit of the information I have and my understanding of same, the questions are: If it was Otedola that offered the bribe to Farouk Lawan to not include Zenon's name in the probe report, why was it that it was Lawan that went to Otedola's house to collect the bribe money? And not once or even twice, but as reported, three whole times? There is a proverb that says that it is the man with thorn in his foot that limps to meet the man with pin for help. Since it was Otedola that was supposedly looking for a favour, why wasn't he the one going to meet Lawan? If Lawan collected the money in order to expose Otedola as he claimed, why did he not officially report the matter of the bribe after the report was laid at, and adopted by the House of Representatives? Did Lawan, as he claimed, write a letter to the police to inform them of the offer of bribe? Why has the Ahmadu Ali he mentioned not been quizzed to find out what he knows about the matter? Did Lawan report the bribe to the members of the House or at least the Ethics committee as claimed? If he did, at what point did he report it to them? Was it after the bubble had
burst or at the time the bribe was offered? How many members of the fuel subsidy probe committee which Lawan chaired were aware of the offer/acceptance of the bribe? What are the members of the committee saying about the bribe affair? Have they been thoroughly quizzed? If as Lawan claimed, he only collected the bribe with the intention of exposing Otedola, why did he move the motion to remove Zenon's name from the report? What role, if any, did the Committee member that seconded Lawan's motion play in the whole bribe affair? Did the other committee members have fore-knowledge of Lawan's motion to apply through a motion to remove Zenon's name from the report? If they did, on what basis did they agree that Zenon's name be removed? Is it because they are privy to the bribe thing? Is it because Zenon really did not belong in the report as Otedola claimed? If Zenon's name never should have been in the report, how did it get there? If Lawan did not intend to spend the bribe money, why did he keep quiet for so long to the point that it was Otedola that broke the news and not him? Knowing how close Otedola was to the former President Obasanjo and the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, was Farouk really that greedy and idiotic as to solicit for a bribe from all persons, Femi Otedola? If the money is not with Adams Jagaba, where is it? Was Zenon, a company into diesel which has been deregulated, really supposed to have been part of the report? If so, why? On Otedola's part, was the operation really a sting operation as claimed? If it was, why did the State security operatives allow the money to get out of their sight to the point where no one seems to know its whereabouts now? If it was a sting operation as claimed, why was Farouk not arrested immediately after collecting the bribe money by the security operatives? This is especially important because as reported, the money was collected in tranches of two $250,000 and a $100,000. I don't remember having heard any official or unofficial statement from the SSS yet, but if they were really involved from the start, why has there been only silence from them so far on the whole saga? If it is indeed a sting operation, having let the money out of its sight, how did the SSS intend to identify the actual dollar bills given to Lawan if he has spent it? Why did it have to be Otedola and not the SSS Otedola Femi that broke the story if
As for Otedola, though I do not know the true story, I think the whole sting operation thing was an afterthought. There are just too many questions screaming for answers. I fear though, that the answers might never be fully known because we are in Nigeria where the most confounding, unbelievable things happen on a regular basis without any sanction whatsoever attaching. indeed there was a sting operation? Why the long delay and silence even after the report had been laid and adopted with Lawan `performing' by removing the name of Zenon and a certain Synopsis with no action taken by the security operatives until Otedola broke the story? Why have the tape recordings of the bribe taking not been made public? If Otedola doesn't own Synopsis as he claims, who does? And how much did the owner have to pay to have the company's name removed from the report? And how many other companies paid to have their names omitted? So far, in my opinion as limited by the information I have, it appears that Lawan's greed got the better of him and he really wanted to spend the money. Although, after an appearance at the House on Thursday the 21st of June, Farouk Lawan attempted to maintain his innocence by saying his silence so far on the matter is strategic and that he will be vindicated having maintained a record of probity and accountability as a member of the House in the past 13 years. My opinion on his appearance at the House is one I will rather keep to myself for now. Or maybe not completely. I do know I wouldn't have been able to show my face among my colleagues so soon after my fall from the pedestal of "integrity" to the disgusting pit of corruption. Especially when I have not been able to successfully clear my name. But then, maybe he finds it so comfortable because that is the way they all are in the house. And well, of course, this is Nigeria, a country where the bigger a criminal you are, the more "honour" and awards you are given. At least now, going by the caliber of most of the other Honourables, it appears he is now more than ever before qualified to be called "Honourable" Farouk Lawan! As for Otedola, though I do not know the true story, I think the whole sting operation thing was an afterthought. There are just too many questions screaming for answers. I fear though, that the answers might never be fully known because we are in Nigeria where the most confounding, unbelievable things happen on a regular basis without any sanction whatsoever attaching.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Diplomacy Cleansing the Nigerian Embassy, Washington By BENJAMIN OBIAJULU ADUBA
t is high that time Mr. Jonathan, the Nigerian President, cleansed the Nigerian embassy in Washington, DC. And he should do it holistically and quickly. The reasons are not farfetched: · Mr. Adefuye, the Nigerian ambassador to the US, has lost complete control of the embassy. He cannot control the staff, the documents, the information or even the security in the embassy · Mr. Bolaji Aluko has deep throat sources in the embassy, who tell him about the pressures the ambassador has from visiting Nigerian politicians, he has agents who give him documents, he can tell to the minutest details what is happening at the embassy up to the latest minute. Yet he had never worked at the embassy and does not work there now. In Fact he is 6,000 miles from the embassy. · Mr. Ugwuonye has an equally deeply embedded source at the embassy. He knows who is coming and who is going; he knows who operates which accounts and what the balances are; how much money is withdrawn and by who. Things even the ambassador may not know immediately. · Mr. Sowore has deep sources in the embassy just like his other comrades. He knows what is in the filing cabinets; in computer hardware; he knows who is working on what project; and what communications go on between Nigeria and US governments. He even knows the ambassador's movements including what goes on in his brain. · Mr. Asiwe of Huhuonline has equal or greater access to the goings on in the embassy. He can write a piece and update it as events move ahead. One sometimes wonders if he actually writes from the embassy. · Nigeria's Foreign Minister has an independent source in the embassy that is not the ambassadors. Information also reaches him from other than direct channels. He constantly has to cross check the official communication with his own trusted sources. · American agents: CIA, FBI, Banks, etc have direct knowledge of what is happening at the embassy, probably more than the Nigerian Foreign Minister and therefore the president may have access rot in the embassy. Given all the above Mr. Adefuye cannot run the embassy because he knows that he is surrounded by untrustworthy staff. He has lost completely the ability to influence policy and discussions and his communications with the staff is bound to be less than honest. Honesty and trust are the major ties that bind a manager and staff. When I was a manager, I signed off on any documents presented to me by my staff believing that no traps have been wired into the documents. Mr. Adefuye would be stupid to just sign off documents without proper reading and understanding of every piece of paper on his desk. That makes him a clerk. He must reconsider every piece of advice he receives from his subordinates or the sources for Aluko, Ugwuonye, et al would ambush him and set him up for a kill. The staff also no longer believes that Mr. Adefuye would protect them. The distrust is usually mutual. The team has stopped serving Nigeria and is now
serving their various pay masters. It is time to clean the house. President Jonathan has asked the EFCC to look into what is happening at the embassy. The embassy staff cannot be in charge while the audit is ongoing. They all have to leave or they would be obstructing the investigation by tampering with implicating evidence and covering their behinds; they would be leading the EFCC personnel to where they may not want to go themselves but where their "enemies" are hiding; etc. EFCC needs a clean space to work from. An ambassador has two primary responsibilities. He has responsibility to protect the interests of his country in US and to explain to both US and Nigeria the intentions of each. The ambassador is an interpreter. Mr. Adefuye may still be doing his interpretation work well, but his other responsibility of protecting the interests of Nigeria and Nigerians in US has been much compromised. He has lost the respect of a strong segment of Diaspora Nigerians especially that of the Igbo population and some other minority populations. They no longer see in him as one who could arbitrate issues without prejudice. He has allowed himself to be painted as a "Yoruba" ambassador. I will shortly celebrate my 40 years in US but I have never known an ambassador so tinged. Not even Rotimi. There is no respect for the office anymore. The first step is for Mr. Jonathan or the
foreign minister to invite Mr. Adefuye back to Nigeria for consultations. When he is back he would not be allowed to go back. He would be detained and would be asked to bring back his family. And the family would be asked to vacate their private quarters within 48 hours. Mr. Adefuye's office would be locked and his personal effects in his office and his quarters would be shipped back to him by contractors. This way he would not be able to "do some cleaning up." His entire staff would be also recalled just as dramatically. By staff I mean everybody from the Deputy Ambassador to the lowest level clerk. There should be no institutional memory left to educate their successors except what is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja. Even the night cleaning crew should be changed. A clean break would be needed. The reason for this level of purging is that any person remaining would still owe allegiance to somebody gone and would be a source of problem for the incoming crew. Many of the equipment now in the embassy, including computers would need to be removed and replaced so that all the bugs planted by Aluko, Ugwuonye, Sowore, Asiwe, CIA, etc would be cleaned out thoroughly. Their sources ought to be destroyed forever or until they replant them. The new ambassador should not be an Igbo or Yoruba. Mr. Jonathan should find a Nigerian who is not one of the troublesome
ethnic nationalities preferably a minority, Efik, Tiv. Edo, Ibibio, Kanuri, Igalla, etc would be just fine. If no one is found a Hausa/Fulani would do. The same would be recommended for the other senior staff positions even all the way down to much lower levels. Nigeria can run pretty well without the distraction of Igbo and Yoruba. Look at Akwa Ibom and Cross River states to see proof. This call for a clean sweep is coming from one who loves Nigeria and believes that the mess in Washington DC is too putrid for Nigerians to endure one second longer. The mess was not started by Mr. Adefuye. But he is the captain of the ship at the time that it sank. As the embassy is cleaned, Mr. Jonathan should take a good look at his Minister for Foreign Affairs. Why did he not see what was going on in DC? What did he do if he saw it? Did he, in any way, encourage the anarchy? Is he capable? Washington is the most important foreign office (with the possible exception of NY, UN Mission), if so how come that the minister was not aware of the mess until the banks started closing Nigerian accounts? Keeping information at the Nigerian DC embassy is the same as pouring water into a basket.It is time to clean up this mess. Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba wrote in fromBoston, Massachusetts
Loss of lives the World over:
The Monster of our time? By MELISSA ZOAKA
f since the beginning of the world, man with his vast knowledge of Science and Technology cannot create human life, and then who is he to take it? The manner in which human beings are killing themselves all over the world calls for urgent concern and immediate review of man’s abilities and disabilities in terms of giving and taking of lives. A closer look at the global community will reveal an appalling picture of huge loss of human lives on daily basis, not committed by some kind of strange monsters, but by human beings themselves. For instance, at the moment tens of thousands of people in some parts of Somalia especially Bakool and Lower Shabelle are dying of famine due to extreme drought that has ravaged the country. Note that these people are not dying because there are no alternatives; they are dying because their fellow human beings will not let humanitarian aid from some donor agencies enter the drought-stricken region. A militant group operating in Southern Somalia known as Al Shabab, has in the past banned some aid groups from bringing in aid deliveries into their stronghold, describing them as foreign spies. Similarly, sometime in the past in Norway, a suspected terrorist detonated bombs in some government-owned structures, firing gun shots at some innocent youths at a
political camp. Many innocent people have been reported dead while many injured persons have been hospitalised. In the same vein, the sit-tight syndrome of some leaders in Africa and the Middle-East has led to the destruction of thousands of innocent people. Not long now, many human lives were snuffed out in the battle for Libya, as NATO and an unwavering rebel group struggled against the slain Libyan leader, Muhammad Gaddafi who refused to step down for the take-off of a democratic government in his country. In Syria, due to increasing acts of what authorities tagged as “civil disobedience,” the Syrian government has instructed security operatives to shoot at civilians staging anti-government demonstrations, undoubtedly culminating in huge loss of civilian lives. The destruction of human lives in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast, Egypt and Yemen recently lives nothing to be desired. In addition, both the pre and post-election violence that broke out in some parts of Nigeria during the 2011 elections led to the untimely deaths of many people. Reliable statistics made public by Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police represented by his assistant, Mr. Felix Ogbaudu at the 2011 elections review organised by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) in Abuja revealed that 514 civilians and six policemen were killed during the post-election violence
in Nigeria. As if these deaths were not enough, fundamentalist fighters have continued to launched series of bomb attacks in Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital as vengeance against the government for the summary execution of some of their members and their leader, Mohammed Yusuf by some members of the police during an uprising in 2009. In response, the Federal Government of Nigeria deployed some soldiers to curb the Boko Haram mayhem, but some elders and legislators from Borno State have accused the soldiers of harsh reprisals which led to the killings of some civilians. Now, the question is who is man to take another man’s life? The position of Amnesty International (a global non-governmental organisation crusading for non-violation of human rights) on this is clear: “live and let live.” The organisation frowns at the destruction of human lives in whatever form. Many Nigerians can still recall the sad and sickening incident that occurred at LagosIbadan Express Way at a time in the past in which some armed robbers commanded some passengers of a luxurious bus who had little or no money on them to lie face-down on the road and ordered the driver of the bus to run over them, thereby crushing them to painful death- man’s inhumanity to man! Zoaka, is a student of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Voters Register: The Challenges Before 2015
he 2011 Voters Register updates [Voters Registration]carried out by INEC is no doubt the beginning of the new Electoral Process for free, fair and credible elections in April 2011 and beyond where lot of Nigerians are enthusiastic that it is going to be the most successful. But surprisingly, upon the huge amount of money invested in procuring the Direct Data Capture [DDC] machines by federal government, the high expectations of government and Nigerians were somehow disappointing with the series of problems eligible voters have encountered all over the country. Invariably, in virtually all the states of the federation and FCT Abuja, all the DDC machines procured and distributed by INEC were at one point or the other either faulty or mal-functioning while supporting accessories were also not available or faulty. While in on some states of the federation, the story was crucial as even former President Obasanjo, Senate President David Mark and State Governors as well as National and State Assembly Members encountered one problem or the other surrounding the problem or faulty scanners, lack of Hard Disks or supporting ones, mal-functioning of the PCs, delay in commencement of the voters registration, poor and presence of communication barrier or what could easily be described as language barrier between the ad-hoc staff and residences of many places. Especially, the villages and remote areas wherein most cases, the registration exercise has not reached the places yet as INEC was said to be battling with the problem of inadequate supply of the DDC machines from the contractors according to Borno Resident INEC Commissioner, Professor Tukur Sa'ad. Although investigations revealed that in some registration centers, eligible voters were registered without their fingerprints while INEC National Chairman has severally made it very explicit to the public or Nigerians that anybody that he/she is registered without his/her finger print such voter card is invalid. But on the contrary, what obtained in most of the places visited was that some voters were registered without their finger prints because the scanners or DDC machines could not capture or recognize their fingers. So, the question now is, what is the fate of those Nigerian eligible voters that fall victims of this circumstances? Jega needs to answer this question for these Nigerians or eligible voters before the April election proper which the voter's cards are meant for. In fact, the whole exercise nationwide was strongly marred by inadequate allowances and indecent provision of accommodation to the ad-hoc staff following the series of complaints received from many of the NYSC members and level three and four University students which has informed the relocation and abscondment of most of the ad-hoc staff from their duty posts. The compounding problems have greatly resulted in serious set-backs in the entire process and created the room for suspicion
among Nigerians on whether the said 2011 and expected 2015 general elections will be successful or most successful and free, fair and credible as propagated and anticipated by the presidency and PDP as the international community is keenly watching the entire system to see whether the nascent democracy could been entrenched and sustained. Similarly, it was observed that despite the concerted efforts of INEC to conduct a successful Voters Register update, the configuration process of the DDC machines according to the designated polling units proposed for the 2011 general elections further aggravated the situation as some of the machines could not function on delivery, worst still is the 2015general elections voters update. Furthermore and worst still, is the illiteracy
Prof. Jega of some of the ad-hoc staff in handling the DDC machines and their accessories as most end up incompetent despite their educational background to worsen the situation instead of them confessing to the INEC officials during the training that they cannot handle the said machines accordingly. But for the sake of the monetary aspect of the exercise nationwide, everybody is highly interested in grapping the allowances first before patriotism and commitment attached to the exercise in spite of the fact that the allowances have been slashed downward due to unknown reasons. It was gathered further that the international donors sponsoring the exercise have insisted that the payment of the allowances must be online. Thus, through the ad-hoc staff bank account for the April
2011general elections allowances payment in order to do away with the history of the past exercises where the said allowances payment was full of ghost names and double payments to individuals rendering the process fraudulent as most eligible voters up to date could not get their even 2007 general elections allowances talk more of the 2012 general elections allowances as many complained of either short payment or complete non-payment. Some of the complaints of the residences visited were the ad-hoc staff were non indigenes and could neither fluently speak the language of the people they were registering. Thus, there was communication barrier and that may have affected the quality and final data input or output that is expected to be presented for the April 2011 elections and 2015 highly controversial general elections going by the concurrent lingering interim crises of most political parties over their candidatures for the 2015 general elections, especially, the presidency and national chairmanship of their parties. If care is not taken and measures are not immediately adopted to correct these ills, at the end of the exercise, the whole ball game may end up to be invalid or completely inaccurate/incorrect as eligible voters may be wrongly or falsely computed and during election create problem between the voters and the INEC officials which could end up to be a security threat in the 2015 elections as it had been in the 2011 elections. Therefore, with all these challenges and hitches here and there, INEC should wake up from its slumber and hurriedly tackle the problems before these issues get out of hand or control. Hence Nigerians are presently bitter about the whole exercise and complaining bitterly about the problems experienced in the past 2007 and 2011which should stand out to be the greatest challenges that INEC is facing and Jega should expedite efforts to ameliorate the situation if he will still at the helm of affairs of the national electoral body by 2015. Because Nigerians and international community are hopeful that the Voters Register update will serve as a prelude to the successful conduct of the 2015 general elections that is expected to be more acceptable and freer as well as embraced by all as the most freer, fairer and credible general elections the country will ever
conduct with less controversy and contradiction. Because, most importantly is the issue of the 10finger prints which the DDC machines attached scanners could hardly recognize, especially, for the rural people and even the urban large majority of the people who are permanently engaged in hard labour like farming, mason, carpentry, vulcanizing, wood cutting, mechanics, mining, digging of pit latrines, sewerage disposal, cleaners, etc. The turnout also at the designated registration centers nationwide was observed to be poor in most places due to poor enlightenment and mobilization by the relevant authorities in addition to the problem of the physically challenged people registration who have no fingers like the lepers and the disables although the INEC officials have explained that there is a device called bye-pass meant for the physically challenged people to be registered. Similarly, in a press conference, the Boron State INEC Resident Commissioner, Professor Sa'ad Tukur said all the necessary arrangements and materials required for a successful exercise have been put in place and the DDC machines needed for all the designed registration centers across the state have been provided except for 6 LGCs that the DDC machines maybe enough at the start to distribute to them. But after two or three days of the commencement of the exercise in 2011, the remaining DDC machines that were to be delivered, configurated and distributed to the LGCs and the AROs as well as EOs have been intimated about the whole issue, assuring that, all eligible voters in the state and country at large will be registered within the 2 weeks period despite the problems experienced but that could not be achieved successfully due what could be described as logistic problems that never overcome the problems rather compounded the problems. Long queues were also witnessed in most of the registration centers visited in Maiduguri and its environs indicating that the ad-hoc staff were experiencing one problem or the other with their equipment in terms of finger prints and scanning while in some centers it was the problem of malfunctioning of the machines leaving the ad-hoc staff with the only option that manual data collection pending the ratification of the DDC machines and scanners. So, the big problem before INEC is nothing less than successful delivering or conduct of the most successful and expected general elections in 2015 which may require the President to over-haul the national electoral body for a way forward for the country, Nigeria.
So, the big problem before INEC is nothing less than successful delivering or conduct of the most successful and expected general elections in 2015 which may require the President to over-haul the national electoral body for a way forward for the country, Nigeria.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Undemocratic and Corrupt practices of Nigeria Government By IBRAHIM OLAKUNLE n Nigeria corruption has poisoned the system of government with ill-gotten money, corporate looting, buying of votes with a payback promises. Corruption masterminds injustice. Innocent citizens are being suffered unjustly and badly treated, jailed and/or sometimes killed just because they resist being manipulated, oppression, corruption of the highest order and intimidated, while despicable criminals at the highest political positions are freely enjoying stolen public funds. Judiciary is had been bought against justice. Police and security agencies are the tools for manipulation and intimidation. Organized political and economy crimes been sponsored and perpetrated by the highest political authority - Presidency itself! Democracy is not about dictatorship, threatening of life and properties, powergame to the detriment of masses; it is desire you, service to people service, right of choice and freedom of speech and good things of life. It is not to rule but to lead. To this extent, there is no gain saying that we are yet to witness true democracy in the country. Again, in Nigeria to challenge undemocratic practices and intimidation, political oppression, the violation of human rights and corruption is more of attempting a suicide. Nigerians have been denied of fruits of democracy such as press
The current sticky situations facing the country such as criminality and corruption -which is the cancerous disease facing our economy growth and development – had been c consistently linked to the political authority and series of severe allegations made towards the presidency, ministries and its allies had been exposed.
freedom, human rights, the right to free political voice, and the right to contribute deliberative input in governance. Moreover, the recent attacks and injuring suffered by the unarmed innocent citizens across the country been accused of homosexuality, transgender, indecency, society foe is undemocratic and must be condemned in totality. The dastardly acts by some hoodlums and thugs who attacked individuals, operating under the guise of law should be abated. Government who seems to have unsighted the public and communities and inflicted pains on the masses through jungle laws
against the right of certain individual should be held responsible for abused of human right, any extra-judicial killing and attack on any citizen. The current sticky situations facing the country such as criminality and corruption -which is the cancerous disease facing our economy growth and development – had been c consistently linked to the political authority and series of severe allegations made towards the presidency, ministries and its allies had been exposed. Like so many others, the fuel subsidy probe that is being carried out by the National Assembly has really opened a can of worm. Some
political big-wings closed to the presidency are deeply involved and it is quite obvious that more revelations are still to come to the fore of the general public and to the international community at large. Under Nigeria democratic setting, the need to develop political support and immunity is a tool for protection of public officials that loot the government money. It has legalized corruption; Political office holders and public officials collide with corporate entities and certain individuals to steal, even steal in anticipation of their exit from the post. Both home and abroad, many have expressed doubt over the ability of President Goodluck Jonathan and his team to tackle the numerous challenges facing the country, stressing that the administration had demonstrated high level of incompetence; lacking in the capacity to prevent, challenge and prosecute high level criminals; (loto-ocrat). The President pays less attention to corrupt ion inst ead promot es and celebrates and glorifies the accused criminals. Speaking in diaspora (Europe), there is need for all and sundry, the patriotic and well meaning Nigerians across the globe to build massive civilian forces, a water-tight union to arose confident of Nigerians in fighting against the political tyranny in the interest of our country unity and progress. Olakunle is the Director of Production, NN
Keana General Hospital A Theater of Death D
By RABI'U DOGARA OMAKU ilapidated beds, dearth of facilities, acute shortage of manpower, absence of potable drinking water, liking roofs and decomposed theater are the attributes of Keana General Hospital; worst is the inaction of the hospital authority to fuel their standby generator. Our reporter gathered that patients were forced to fuel the standby generator before undergoing surgery. An insider told our reporter that the low patronage of patients to Keana General hospital can be attributed to the gory happenings, even as impeccable source confirmed that patients were charged additional N5000 before undergoing surgery in the public hospital. It was uncovered that patients were compelled to fuel a standby generator which cost N5000, apart from the charges for the surgery. DESERT HERALD witnessed the low patronage, even as the worst situation here is absence of doctors that will man the operation of the General hospital. Investigation by our reporter unveiled that the General hospital, which has existed even before the creation of Nasarawa State, has never passed through total renovation. It was gathered that the General hospital, which was operating as Primary Health Care provider, was upgraded by the former executive governor, Abdullahi Adamu but nothing was done to equip it. Further findings revealed that the entire roof of the hospital is at the verge of collapsing, this forced the hospital authority to abandon some rooms, while one of the wards visited has dilapidated beds and buckets to collect water from the leaking roof, thereby portraying the
hospital in a bad light. Similarly, termites were observed to have taken over the roof of the entire structure which was neglected by successive regimes. According to an insider who pleaded anonymity, the poor condition of the hospital compels relatives to take their patients to the existing Primary Health Care center which was more lively than the General hospital that lacks even potable drinking water. A visit to the threatre room is an eyesore as everything inside is outdated, while “the flood light in the threatre rooms are
malfunctioning said,” an insider who conducted our reporter round the existing facilities. Though the Drug Revolving progarmme has been re-intrduced by the Governor AlMakura led regime in an effort to bring succor to the people of the state, people of Keana still lament the high cost of drugs purchased from the hospital. One of the patients stated that drugs under the DRF are beyond the reach of the masses, and called on the state government to make the drugs affordable to the end users. A visit to Awe General hospital gives similar scenario which include shortage of
manpower, absence of toilets among others. In spite of the billions of naira budgeted for public hospitals in the state, the promise of overhauling public health centres in the state is yet to see the light of the day,while many of the General hospitals are often causing untold hardship to patients and management staff. All efforts to speak to the state commissioner for health, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, proved abortive as the commissioner did not respond to our calls.
VP Condi? Is Condoleezza Rice really on Romney's shortlist? By CHRIS MOODY he Drudge Report ran a blaring headline late Thursday night reporting that sources within Mitt Romney's presidential campaign say Condoleezza Rice, who served as secretary of state and national security adviser under President George W. Bush, is a "front-runner" for the running mate slot. Matt Drudge, the founder of the site, has close ties to members of Romney's inner circle and runs one of the most popular news aggregation sites on the Web. For the past few days, President Barack Obama's campaign has hammered Romney by questioning his business record at Bain Capital—one top Obama aide even went as far as suggesting Romney could be a felon—so it's not surprising that Romney would want to change the conversation to speculation about his vice presidential
choice. The question remains, however: Is Romney actually considering Rice, or is the "leak" just a distraction? [Related: Romney-who? VP contenders have low name recognition] If you take Rice's word as truth, it's the latter. "There is no way that I will do this," Rice told CBS News just last month when asked if she would serve as Romney's vice president. "I know my strengths, and Gov. Romney needs to find someone who wants to run with him." Of course, despite Rice's words of protest, that doesn't mean Romney isn't considering her on his end. But choosing her could prove problematic, for a variety of reasons. First, as many on the right point out, Rice supports keeping abortion legal, making
her a tough sell with social conservatives. Also, adding Rice to the ticket would make her an easy target for Democrats by pointing out her ties to the Bush administration, where she served for both terms. On the other hand, Rice is known for her ability to excite Republican crowds and as an African-American woman, she would offer a level of diversity to Romney's team. Regardless of whom he chooses, it is clear that Romney is working to build hype before the announcement. On the same night the Rice story was released, Romney's campaign sent supporters an email with the subject line "Mitt's VP," which included an offer to win a chance to meet the new duo after the ticket is finalized.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Lead Comment A Heartless Government
This Government By OSAHON UWAGBOE So don't tell us anything then! Just let us states said “they place a lot of premium on should show know how the capacity build up has been Corp members no matter where they are owadays I often suffer from grief able to work on these terrorists. Anything posted to” and furthermore, that our young some sense of that is unfortunately inflicted by short of this does not seem to be intelligent; it ones must go and serve since Government is my government – the federal just looks like people who are simply just up to the task of protecting them. So which human feeling and government of Nigeria.But then isn't trying to impress the citizenry. See, if we protection is he talking about? government ideally supposed to be know the capacity of this terrorist group then Regrettably, this Government seems to responsible for the welfare of it's citizenry: we can know what our capacity to contain paint the picture that they are so overzealous sensitivity in the to ensure that there is an enabling them should be .But we don't even know for the country when they say that the youths environment for its peoples to pursue their much about them. Really, all this talk is must go and serve. But I imagine the real handling of things purposes in life? But this government effectively water over the back of a duck, for reason for this decision that our children go curiously seems to have an attitude of Nigerians are not impressed. and serve, is for the outside world not hear for there has been pursuing policies no matter the hardship Indeed, the Presidency has not shown that that the youths could not go to for national and pain it inflicts on its peoples. it is able to adequately protect the lives of the service because of terrorists' attacks. This is too much blood Significantly, at the beginning of the year they insensitively slammed a near 50% populace. Consider that they recently sacked consistent with Jonathan's philosophy for increase in the pump price of petrol on the the Chief security adviser Gen. Owoye Azazi going to Brazil. But I wonder how those shed in the land pretext of fuel subsidy removal despite the and Minister of Defense, Dr. Haliru Bello. countries would react to this, for they don't protests from the populace that it was too Fine, that is normal when people are not need to see you at a meeting to get their and we need to put performing. Yet, this same Government impression of what is going on in a country. I sudden and lumpish. wants to expose our children to the danger of mean they don't simply take decisions on an end to these But this episode has now turned out to be a tissue of lies: they claimed that government terrorist activities in the Northern states that such matters based on impression; there is could not afford to pay so much for the are prone to these attacks. In any case, is there information gathering, espionage, etc. I mindless deaths in subsidy, when in fact the monies that were anywhere in the north that the terrorists mean, they would have people on ground previously paid were found to have been cannot attack? Thus, we are sending our that provide them with information. In any our country. innocent and unprotected children to be case, they get the news about what goes on in
falsities. As if this 50% increment was not enough, inflation of basic food items has now gone up by 300%, yet the government seems insensible to put in place stopgaps to alleviate the suffering of the people given that this inflation is seen to be a circumstantial. I mean, where are the strategic food reserves? Don't we have anything that can cushion this suffering while this persists? Yet, this is a consequence of the socio-political problem in the north; for the farmers in the north have been relocating to outside of the country because of the losses that they incur from crises. And unfortunately, it is connected to the Boko Haram insurgency or better still the siege on our country, which continues exponentially, and which brings pain and grief to its peoples given the prolific nature of the bomb blasts. However, this government keeps saying, to little avail, that it is working to contain the situation. Yet very recently, the Government mandated our children to go and perform their national service (batch B2012,NYSC)regardless of the real threat to their lives. I mean this Federal Government is obviously not in a position to offer real protection to the lives of these children yet it ordered the youths, despite pleas to the contrary, to go to potentially dangerous areas. To me this position is purely heartless and indeed shows a government that does not care for the lives of its people. See, people are dying almost every day due to the attacks of Boko Haram terrorists, and the Presidency keeps telling us that they are on top of the situation. But the scourge goes up inexorably. Now, the other day Reuben Abati, said that the Government has beefed up capability against this scourge. I wonder what have they beefed up? Now, it's not so much in telling us that they have done this and that; they must be seen to show how and what they have done, otherwise they should not tell us at all. This is simple human relations ethics. I mean what are you telling us for when you have not told us what you have done vis- a-vis the prolific suicide bombers. But when they are asked they say that they cannot do so otherwise they will be compromising their plans?
fodder for Boko Haram attacks. Regrettably, even some the officials of the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC) said that the youths must go and serve. I heard the comments of various officers of the NYSC. How can they say that! have they been able to first show the youths the capabilities that they will use to protect their lives? Are they going to offer them police escort 24/7, etc.? Besides, is there any Nigerian today that can keep faith with the declarations of the Presidency as it concerns protection of lives and property; when day in day out they see and hear of the activities of the terrorists? Even those who live in the north are relocating elsewhere so how will they say the youth must go there, considering that Nigerians now go anywhere they can find safety even as the government does not seem capable to protect their lives. Therefore, these children are justified like every other Nigerians to go where they can find safety. Furthermore, when government talks about protecting its peoples, this just falls on deaf ears as government is not seen to be responsible. Regrettably, they don't realize that they live on borrowed credibility given that they have a reputation for mendacity .After all, is this not the same Government that lied to the populace concerning the need to remove fuel subsidy, only for us to hear later on that the subsidy was non- existent? I mean this Government can't be believed; it has simply lost credibility. Besides, is it not the same Jonathan during the last presidential media chat that said that they could not fly into Borno and Yobe-security challenged states-with a helicopter, yet they are saying that they have what it takes to protect our people! See, o n W e d n e s d a y 4thJuly,2012,Labaran Maku, the information minister, while responding to deployment of youths to security challenged
the country. So what is he talking about? However, the presidency has now given in to the protests against going for national service in the volatile northern states. This will show to the outside world that it was the people and not the Presidency that took the decision in the first place. But this still will not do much for their reputation as those outside know the facts about Nigeria. Rather, this has shown a Government that does not care for its peoples lives but is a self – seeking Government. They seem to put themselves first; their reputation at the expense of people's life and indeed the populace. It's all about them or nothing. Worse still, this Government is making people think that it feasts on the blood of its peoples, just consider the cold manner they insisted that the children must go and serve. Whatever they have done nowredeploying the youths- is rather late in the day. They did not mean it at all. After all, most of those who were posted to these crises ridden states had gone to the Youth
orientation camp before the decision was made. Was that period not enough time for the terrorists to attack our children? I mean, these terrorists relish in these type of deaths. To second guess the terrorists, if these ones die, it usually causes a lot of mourning and grief. Remember the deaths that occurred shortly after the election violence of the 2011 general elections. We have not yet got over this yet and we are running headlong into another. I remember the mother who lost her son whom she had laboured her life for. Thus, they have just showed that our lives mean nothing at all. Yet Jonathan said that he is pained to hear of the death of any Nigerian that dies from these attacks. Does he mean that? This Government should show some sense of human feeling and sensitivity in the handling of things for there has been too much blood shed in the land and we need to put an end to these mindless deaths in our country.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Comment Throwing big stones at the Nigerian Project By PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON
will start this weekend's admonition by a tale told by an unknown author. It is originally called the pebble and the ripples. A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time. A young boy happened to cross by. He was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the lake. The boy went up to the man and said, “Good pastime, this stone throwing, he?” “Hmmm, said the man. He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed. Sometime later, the man said softly, “Look at the water, it is absolutely still.” The boy said, “Yeah, it is.” The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued, only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?” Yeah, said the boy, “they spread further and further.” “And soon, the water is still again, offered” the man. The boy said. “Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while.” The man continued, “What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of the ripples is the stone. Let's take the stone out. Go ahead and look for it.” The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out. But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He was able to take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before. The wise man said, “It is not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been thrown into it. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether! So too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates ripples. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance. If a disturbance has entered into the mind, it will take its own time to die down. Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the mind. Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind, put it through the triple filter test of authenticity, goodness and value. Only few years back, to go through the University, it cost a few hundreds, gradually it was just a few thousand and one got a qualitative education from w world class universities that they once were. But what happened, we threw pebbles into that water. Libraries have given way to Google, sadly in the ivory towers, students become graduates without visiting a library except for the flimsy excuse of binding a pirated and plagiarized copy of their terminal paper called project. This same nation that is battling unemployment without even a proper statistical data of how many that were unemployed, whether half-baked, unbaked or over-baked was once the same that offered holiday jobs for University students, same nation that left you with a choice of job after your first leaving school certificate.
In those days before you Honesty was still a virtue, shares were not over- or lv, we know lol…laugh and I threw pebbles into the out loud at our collective subscribed and banks did not just collapse, few amnesia. water, after Primary 6 then, you picked from the old banks and , bankers, both chartered and There was this friend of Nigerian Railway, P&T, ECN tattered, but depositors monies did not just ours, served in Sokoto, he and such. married an Hausa girl from There was corruption, but disappear like these days of ATMs and mega profits Sokoto during the NYSC how much of it, the slide may and sacking of same bankers who supposedly make program, he was not only have begun, because we were the profits by selling their bodies. given a cow but the wedding throwing pebbles already, was sponsored by the State progress, economically, politically, and government. Then, you were posted to but we stole less, there were few Fraouks and Otedolas and the theft were otherwise, I know for a fact that our children 'angeligidi, in munafirchi state and you went, in few thousands, but today we steal in will see these denominations in the few taught in an Local Education Authority billions and in a nation with all the poor, a museums that are still functioning, they will Primary School, and left with life few Nigerians can afford a Bugetti Vyeron, never spend it, even as we seek to introduce experiences, but now our pebbles only show world's most expensive and fastest car at more worthless higher currencies. how no one really wants to serve in those We are almost done mourning the Dana places we know, and how some serve in their N400milion in Nigeria… a car that has only plane crash but have quickly forgotten how father's house. 300 units in the world. Honesty was still a virtue, shares were not our pebbles at old reliable Nigerian airways Our pebbles birthed Boko Haram, the over-subscribed and banks did not just turned it into death airways before it was political ones in GEJ's government, the collapse, few banks and , bankers, both liquidated. criminal ones, the terrorists that have It was a lovely nation with good memories, redefined our lives and collective brotherly chartered and tattered, but depositors monies did not just disappear like these days we wrote essays of “how we spent our last way of living…Now we are like Afghanistan of ATMs and mega profits and sacking of holidays”, were taught how to write in like 'Nigerianstan', in some parts and like same bankers who supposedly make the formal and informal ways, and all that Somali like 'kidnapli or is it Nigeriali'. mathematics some of us found hard to profits by selling their bodies. Fact is that, we need ask, is there a Nigerian Many of us reading this, spent, one naira, understand but was fun, today the ripples of project, and with not just the pebbles but fifty kobo, ten kobo, I have left out those that our pebbles is one that has seen us embrace stones we are hauling at the project, what even spent the shillings. Today after technology without caution and progress. becomes of it, only time will tell. throwing pebbles into the Nigerian waters of Okay became kk or just k, love, became luv,
Controversy I will hold Permanent Secretary post in absentia, and earn no pay, says Patience Jonathan
he President's wife has suddenly become a permanent secretary in Bayelsa state; however, she says she will not perform the functions assigned to the post. Patience Jonathan, the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, says she will not be relocating to Bayelsa state to perform the duties of a permanent secretary, in line with her new appointment. her spokesperson, Ayo Osinlu, has said. Ms. Jonathan was on Wednesday appointed a Permanent Secretary in the Bayelsa state civil service by the state Governor, Seriake Dickson. She was appointed alongside seventeen other senior civil servants in the state. But unlike the others, she will hold her office in absentia, Mrs Jonathan told PREMIUM TIMES through her spokesperson, Ayo Osinlu. "She is on leave of absence," Mr. Osinlu said. "She is not going to function in the office of the permanent secretary in Bayelsa state." Ms. Jonathan however, is apparently delighted at the appointment as her spokesman argued that she had no cause to publicly accept or decline the appointment. "It is a civil service position," Mr Osinlu said. "She is a staff of the Bayelsa state civil service." Ms. Jonathan will also not collect any perk for the office, Mr. Osinlu said. "It will be illegal for her to draw salary from the office," he said. The president's wife, who left the Bayelsa state civil service 13 years ago after her husband became the deputy governor of the
state, was elevated to the position, usually reserved for senior civil servants. Governor Seriake Dickson said he made the appointment in line with the constitutional powers conferred on his office. On behalf of Ms. Jonathan, Mr. Osinlu argued that the appointment is a routine civil service career promotion, as opposed to insinuations that it is a political appointment by the governor to curry favour from the president's wife, whom many believe was influential in the governors climb to his office. Retired permanent secretaries who explained the process of appointing a permanent secretary at federal and state levels, told this reporter that during the military eras and until recently, assumption to the office of permanent secretary was strictly based on seniority. "Those days, only the most senior director in the ministry will succeed an outgoing permanent secretary," a retired permanent secretary who sought anonymity said. "Now, in addition to seniority, they add politics. Nowadays, most times, not the most qualified is appointed but whomever the governor chooses." Ms. Jonathan, a native of Okrika in neighboring Rivers State, had worked both in the Rivers and Bayelsa states civil services up till 1999. She holds a National Certificate
of Education in Mathematics/Biology, obtained in 1989 from the Rivers State College of Education. She also has a degree in Biology and Psychology (Education) from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Her appointment has raised controversy in the state, residents contend the president's wife is unqualified to hold the position. It is also not clear which department, ministry or government agency she worked in while in the Bayelsa Civil service.
Dame Patience Jonathan
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Response Whose Script Is NTA Reading?
NYSC: Existing in the Shadows of the Past
By IBRAHIM BARGONI
s the megaphone of any government in power, the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is hardly a source of authentic news. Its near-total lack of credibility, of course, has led to the flourishing of private TV stations in the country to which viewers now turn for news. Only in April, this year, NTA falsely reported that LEADERSHIP's Abuja office had been bombed. We chose to ignore that hideous lie, hoping that the government-owned station would swallow the humble pie and turn a new leaf. Alas, it was not to be. The NTA sank even lower last Wednesday: on its 9pm network news (which has been repeated at least thrice thereafter) it dis-informed that our representative told the Senate Committee on Ethics that our lead story of May 28 entitled “N3BN PENSION SCAM: We Bribed Senate Committee In Dollars – Suspect” was published in error. It was clearly a hatchet job on a simmering bribery scandal involving the Senate ad-hoc panel investigating the investigators of the pension fund. The truth, however, is that, since after LEADERSHIP published the story of bribery allegations against the Senator Aloysius Etuk-led ad-hoc panel, the panel members have been clutching at straws to save their reputations. One after the other, they have threatened to sue this newspaper if it did not “retract” the story. Unfortunately for them, we have the suspect's voice on tape. The Senate Panel on Ethics (now investigating the allegations against the Etuk panel) invited LEADERSHIP representatives for the second time last Wednesday. At the hearing, our Senate correspondent, Mr. Uchenna Awom, clearly explained why we still stood by our story: the debate at the editors' meeting, efforts made to confirm the suspect's testimony, opportunity given the other side (the Etuk panel members) to respond, and even an interview granted Senator Kabiru Gaya (one of the panel members) a few days after the publication of May 28. In sum, Awom told them that LEADERSHIP's reports were always unbiased and most reliable. The representatives of other media organizations were present and reported the news as it was. Only the NTA did the exact opposite: its reporter quoted LEADERSHIP's Awom as saying that the story was a mistake; it showed a footage of Awom speaking but muffled his voice so the listener could not hear or understand what he was saying. Whose script is the NTA acting anyway? And how much is the TV station worth? We challenge the NTA – if it still claims to be a news medium – to broadcast the proceedings at the Senate panel's hearing last Wednesday unedited. The media must not be used to aid and abet fraud at this time that several revelations are being made about the uncommon depth of corruption in many sectors. For our part, we remain focused in the course of reporting the news. We are ashamed that any medium of mass communication would allow itself to be used to fool its audience. Culled from Leadership
DG NYSC By MAHMOON BABA-AHMED
he National Youth Service Corps scheme, started in 1973, is a genuine blessing in disguise to this country. It is arguably the most enduring tie that binds the motley ethnic groupings in Nigeria. It was carefully designed and introduced as one of the cardinal points of the post civil war strategies for winning sustainable peace by rehabilitating and integrating the breakaway Igbos into the mainstream of the nation, through the reconstruction of the war damages and putting the warring factions on fraternal course once again. The scheme required the postings of fresh university graduates to states other than their own, on yearlong mandatory services with a view to making them adaptable to new environment so as to become self reliant, patriotic, proud and loyal to their nation. Like most successful ventures worldwide, initial hiccups and difficulties are often associated with their implementation. The NYSC scheme was not exempted from certain drawbacks at the primary stage of its execution. The graduates drawn in to pioneer the scheme rejected their call up and embarked on destructive demonstration nationwide, unprecedented in the annals of student unionism. Their grievance was the additional year they have to spend in what they called unprofitable servitude in place of lucrative jobs waiting for them, with attractive fringe benefits which included car loans and furnished apartments. Nevertheless the Government of General Yakubu Gowon stood its ground about implementing the scheme and diplomatically advised the militant youths against resisting the plan which it pointed out was for the good of the country. It can now be seen that the scheme has succeeded tremendously, ushering in innumerable benefits to the nation. Sadly enough, 39 years after Nigerians have been reaping such meaningful gains from the scheme, some unpatriotic citizens are making desperate attempts to pull the nation down by deliberately trying to destroy the basis of its unity through the reintroduction of some negative trends similar to those that polarized the peoples of this country and which also caused the preventable war of the 60s. They are now
hell-bent in drawing the hands of the clock back, heartlessly fanning embers of religious bigotry and tribal prejudice to discredit the NYSC scheme in particular, and the nation in general. These retrogressive elements are desirous of subverting the country by instigating the youths to decline their postings to some northern states, blacklisted by the enemies of progress, so as not to be caught in the conflict between the authorities and supposedly dastardly terrorists in Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and Kaduna states. The secretariat of the NYSC also woefully swallowed that bait, line hook and sinker and nullified the postings to those states. Regrettably, Southern Press and some leading politicians, including legislative houses have been harping on such disruptive destructions, spreading falsehood and deceitful fabrications of dreadful security situations which they said drove southerners in droves out of the north. Accordingly a frightful, but devious picture had been painted of seemingly beleaguered southerners fleeing lethal bombs which were exploding in the midst of unwary strangers. In that case one will be tempted to ask what really happened to the first batch of this year's corpers posted to the 'doomed'
deficient in certain category of skilled workers find the services of the youth corpers extremely valuable. They have participated in all endeavours of nation building with the products of their labour conspicuously visible in all parts of the country. It will therefore amount to callousness if a section of this country is denied the services of these productive youths, especially some northern states which are struggling hard to catch up with their southern counterparts who have several years head start in advancing their states educationally and technologically. This contention may not be far-fetched particularly now that a campaign of calumny has been mounted against the north and northerners with a view to setting the rest of the country against them in order to hold back their progress and deny them certain fundamental rights. If living and serving in some northern states are risky and hazardous for southern youth corpers who were consequently debarred from inhabiting them, it will then be right and proper to discourage all southerners from frequenting them for whatever reason. In that case too, all students of southern origin, which formed the core of student population in northern universities and tertiary institutions, should withdraw on account of their personal safety.
From the foregoing therefore, it would appear there is a concerted effort to discredit the NYSC scheme which clearly now is on the firing line of dubious critics who actually want to stain its importance to our unity and national development. The scheme may be existing in the shadows of the past, but it has not outlived its usefulness. It should therefore not be killed. northern states. Have they actually been killed and their corpses consumed by uncivilized predators? If they have successfully passed out unscathed why should anybody raise a fuss about the enrolment of the second batch? Can anyone imagine what will likely happen if youths from these despised and avoided states in the north turn down postings to volatile and politically unstable states in the south where they will constantly be bothered by headhunting carnivores, hardened political thugs, vicious armed robbers and heartless kidnappers? That may likely be the end of that splendid scheme which adequately promoted sense of unanimity among diverse ethnic groups. The essence of the NYSC scheme is to foster unity by pushing back the boundaries of cultural differences and to also allow the corpers contribute positively to the development of the country. That explains why apart from regimental training the corpers receive at the orientation camp, they are also deployed to serve as secondary school teachers, in the government ministries, in commercial outfits and industries. In that way some state governments and other organizations
If parents of the youths and other true Nigerians, apart from the hecklers of NYSC scheme and advocates of divided Nigeria, could come to the north in search of truth, they will discover that the dishonesty and the hypocrisy of the enemies of peace against some northern states was actually hollow and ludicrous propaganda. In the actual fact nothing has changed for the southerners in the northern states whose reputation was sullied by such slanders. They still open their well-stocked shops on the ever busy streets of the main cities of the north, with many of them populating the busy rural and urban markets. Contrary to that repugnant belief, Northerners and Southerners still shuttle daily to and from their respective states, vending their assorted merchandise without any molestation. From the foregoing therefore, it would appear there is a concerted effort to discredit the NYSC scheme which clearly now is on the firing line of dubious critics who actually want to stain its importance to our unity and national development. The scheme may be existing in the shadows of the past, but it has not outlived its usefulness. It should therefore not be killed.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Features Boosting boy-child Education in the South East By SANI ADAMU
y all means, Chika Onuorah is unarguably one of the most successful Igbo businessmen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Onuorah, 35, deals in electronics and electrical materials at the popular electrical market in the city. Unfortunately, Onuorah is one of the several men from the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria who never had access to formal education in their youthful days. Available statistics reveal a huge gap in boy-child education, if compared with the girl-child education in the South-East zone, probably due to the fact that many adolescent males in the region prefer to take up a vocation in trading. For example, at the tender age of 11, Onuorah's parents willingly allowed him to live with an uncle in Onitsha and work as an apprentice. ``To start with, my parents had no money to send me to school; therefore, the fundamental factor behind my not going to school is poverty. ``Similarly, many other parents in our area don't have money to train their children. They, therefore, resolve to give out their boys as apprentices with the expectation that one day, they would be settled by their masters and would be able to live a meaningful life. ``For me, however, the notion is erroneous because most of the boys in the South-East cannot read or write. ``In my case, while serving my master, I developed interest in education. Every day, I attended evening lessons, and I completed my primary and secondary school education. ``I also attended the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) in Enugu where I obtained an OND in Business Administration. ``Today, I am happy that I am educated. I encourage all parents to endeavour to send all their children to school because from my assessment, it appears we now have more educated women than men in the South-East zone,'' says Onuorah. Onuorah's plight aptly reflects the predicament of thousands of boys who were denied access to formal education across the southeastern states. Observers note that unlike in northern Nigeria, where there is a preference for boychild education due to religious and cultural factors, the reverse appears to be the case in the South East zone. They, nonetheless, attribute the trend to the penchant for money-making ventures, particularly among the Igbo-speaking people of the South East zone. They, therefore, laud the decision of the Federal Government to introduce the ``BackTo-School'' programme in the zone. The programme, which was recently launched in Enugu State by President Goodluck Jonathan, aims at raising public awareness in the South-East region on the importance of boy-child education. While inaugurating the programme, the President directed the Federal Ministry of Education to establish additional schools in the South East to address the challenge of the boy-child education in the area specifically. Jonathan directed that more schools should be constructed within one year to particularly address the yawning gap existing between boy-child education and
girl-child education in the zone. He stressed that if efforts to close the gap were successful, the economic potential of individuals would be considerably improved, while they would be repositioned to become effective players in the economy. Jonathan, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, reiterated the Federal Government's commitment toward providing adequate infrastructure for the improvement of boychild education in the South-East. He expatiated that if the country's youths were able to acquire formal education, small and medium scale enterprises as well as other economic activities would be consequently boosted. ``Education will, no doubt, enhance the success of our youths as small and medium entrepreneurs, especially now that there are a lot of programmes in place to support these groups or business organisations. ``Participation in the formal education process plays an important part in enhancing the ability of the 21st Century businessman to succeed. It will help to open up the understanding of the dynamics of not only the local economy but also the global competitive environment. ``It is my expectation that the boys we are sending back to school today will do their
Prof. Rukayyatu Rufai
the programme, saying that it would equip more youths to partake in efforts to move the country to greater heights. The commendations notwithstanding, observers urge the Federal Government to monitor the programme's implementation and frustrate potential efforts to hijack it. They insist that the programme should be implemented at the grassroots level as a means of fighting poverty in the rural areas. Eze Okechukwu Ahia, the traditional ruler of Amiyi Obinohia Community, Isuikwuato Local Government Area (LGA) of Abia State, shares similar sentiments. Ahia, who is also the Chairman of the Council of Traditional Rulers in Isuikwuato LGA, commends the Federal Government for selecting the South-East zone for the programme's launch, saying that ``it is indeed a dream come true for the Igbos. ``This is an important step in the right direction. For long, we have been clamouring for this kind of programme; it is, indeed, a dream come true. ``This programme is indeed a challenge to the governors of the southeastern states; they should also adopt it. ``The South-East zone has been plagued by what I call the syndrome of sending boys of school age to work as apprentices in markets or shops.
â€œThey argue that the goals of the programme can never be achieved unless parents resolve to change their age-long beliefs and perception regarding boy-child education.
best to acquire the requisite skills and become amazing assets to their respective communities. ``I, therefore, direct the construction of schools that will address the issue of access to education for boys in the South-East zone within one year,'' Jonathan said. Also speaking, Chief Nyesom Wike, the Minister of State for Education, noted the youths' obsession with trading was a major challenge inhibiting boy-child education in the South East. He said that the provision of access to education for boys was crucial to efforts to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Wike urged local governments, communities and traditional rulers to look at ways of identifying and addressing the challenges facing boy-child education in their areas. On his part, Gov. Sullivan Chime of Enugu State said that the ``Back-To-School'' programme would be strengthened by his government's reintroduction of boarding houses in schools to reduce the menace of students' loitering during school hours. ``This programme, if well implemented, will take our children back to school, especially our boys,'' he said. Chime commended Jonathan for initiating
to evolve a roadmap for parallel efforts to support the boy-child education project in the zone. The road map, according to the education commissioners, will particularly strengthen the implementation of the ``Back-To-School'' programme. Dr Simon Ortuanya, the Enugu State's Commissioner for Education, says that the stakeholders' position would be articulated in the proposed roadmap. He explains that states in the South-East zone will educate the people on the setbacks which the zone has experienced as a result of the reduction in the school enrolment of the boy-child. Ortuanya quotes Gov. Chime of Enugu State as saying that the starting-point for an improved boy-child education system in the zone is the re-introduction of boarding schools. ``The whole concept of the `Back-ToSchool' programme is a realisation of the fact that something is wrong with boy-child education, particularly in the South East. ``Having launched the programme, the first thing is for us to articulate our position. We should ask ourselves certain questions such as `Where do we go from here? ``We are hoping that we will have a meeting of the South-East commissioners of education as well as a stakeholders' conference to design a roadmap. ``We intend to have a coherent programme for the entire South-East zone, so that the programme's implementation will not be disjointed; so that its execution will be uniform. ``Secondly, we are hoping to have an increased awareness of the challenges facing boy-child education in the South East,'' he says. Ortuanya urges the youth of the region to jettison their ``get-rich-quick'' syndrome and instead, strive to acquire quality education, stressing that such approach will stimulate the development of the South-East zone and the country at large. To add value to the initiative, the commissioner says that the Enugu State Government is planning to reinvigorate the moribund First School Leaving Certificate Examination, which was abandoned in the state some years ago. He stresses that the abandonment is the result of a policy hiccup, adding, however, that the challenge has been overcome, leading to plans by the state government to conduct the examination in July. Ortuanya assures the people of the state that the conduct of the examination will be sustained since it is an aspect of the National Policy on Education Nevertheless, observers insist that the inauguration of the ``Back-To-School'' programme in the South-East geopolitical zone should only be seen as a means to an end. They argue that the goals of the programme can never be achieved unless parents resolve to change their age-long beliefs and perception regarding boy-child education. They also underscore the need to sensitise the parents to the significance of boy-child education in efforts to develop the SouthEast region and the country at large.
``I am aware that this problem is caused by poverty but it is not an excuse for parents to send their children, especially boys, out to work as apprentices. ``An educated child is an asset to the parents, community, state and, indeed, the country. ``From the look of things, it appears the South-East zone has more female graduates than men. ``I commend the Federal Government for introducing the `Back-To-School' programme and it is my prayer that those charged with its implementation it would take their assignment seriously because we are talking about the future generation. ``I also appeal to the governors of the South-East zone to take active part in the programme's implementation by making it compulsory for all children of school age to go to school. ``We say thank you to the federal government for this laudable programme,'' says Ahia, a retired marine Captain with the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL). From all indications, the programme will be a success, as the authorities are making extra efforts to aid its implementation. For instance, the commissioners of Adamu is a staff of NAN. He can be reach at education in the South-East recently resolved 08036126212
17th - 23rd July, 2012
RELATIONSHIP Compiled Dauda M. Dauda <08098515541>
How to Apologize to Your Girlfriend I
t's inevitable to not get hurt in a relationship! And sometimes the more you—the boyfriend—try to avoid hurting anyone—the girlfriend—that's exactly what happens. You didn't plan it of course, but it has happened. Circumstances brought you to the situation and now you find yourself in a mess with your girlfriend. At the same time you are furious and hurt too. You feel it's not your fault, and maybe that's true as well. But wouldn't it be better if you could do without all this and get back to the loving relationship just like the good old times? Of course it would! What's stopping you then? Is your ego bigger than being back with the girl you love? More the time passes, difficult it is going to be. Don't let it be the case. Go; go apologize to your girlfriend. Wait wait wait…! Don't just do it for the sake of it; there's a proper way to it. Continue reading and follow it. Know What You're Apologizing For Playing the 'I'm sorry' tape on a loop mode isn't going to get your apology accepted with the authority, i.e. your girlfriend. You ought to know what you are apologizing for. If you don't already know which activity of yours hurt your girlfriend, then
gently tell her that it will be better if you take a break off each other lest any of you end up saying something you or her will regret later. Cool it off and return to a less tensed situation after a few hours or the next day. Admit It Was Your Fault It's the hardest part: admitting that you did something to upset your loved one. Many a times you wouldn't have, but still. Let her know that you understand how you caused a mess and hurt her feelings. Even if it isn't you who is at fault; take the blame atleast for upsetting her and be ready to make up for it. If she's anything you wanted in a girlfriend, rest assured, she will melt down as fast as she was infuriated. Way To Apologize There's no alternative for apologizing in person, where you both will be able to see each other's reactions and expressions. Don't do it through texting, calling, emailing, or giving a hand written letter unless of course, you have apologized in person. Save all of them for a later time as a follow up procedure. And don't, ever, unbury the dead if there's an argument. There's no point digging the past; it will
you should better ask her about it. It's better to ask than to assume what it was because then in future, you will be able to, not repeat it again. Take A Break Don't go running off in the middle of an argument or fight. It will only add more fuel to her anger and will become even more difficult to gain an apology. But
only worsen the situation and hurt you both. Apologize With A Plan & Be A Man Don't apologize just for the sake of it. You have made a mistake, so while apologizing, do it from heart and mean it. Apart from that, let her know of your future course of actions as to how you will take care of the problem and avoid it from being repeated again. Also, she'll probably
There's no alternative for apologizing in person, where you both will be able to see each other's reactions and expressions. Don't do it through texting, calling, emailing, or giving a hand written letter unless of course, you have apologized in person. Save all of them for a later time as a follow up procedure.
be overwhelmed with emotions: hurt and maybe crying. Be a man and take care of it: calm her down and restore her down to normal. Take care of yourself while doing all this. Make Up For It And it doesn't just end at apologizing. You have to make up for the hurt you caused or whatever upset her. Take her out on a full fledge date, the way you treated her on your best date together. Greet her first with a bouquet of her favourite flowers and some chocolates; go for a dinner together at her favourite restaurant or some quiet place, give a hand written letter with your feeling poured into it, and
gently lean in to kiss her. In short, treat her the way you treated her at your first date: like a princess. You will do a lot of good, to both of you, by sticking to the above points and apologizing to your girlfriend in a tactful manner. But most of all; try to learn from them and don't repeat them in future.
The True Love Is Something That Everyone Wants To Feel!!
hat is true love? The true love is something that everyone wants to feel, but it is a fact that only a little part of the people has the luck to meet her. What is actually the true love? That is the most beautiful thing that can happen to someone, because that is one shared feeling. When you meet someone and fall in love with him that is not the true love still. If this person shares your feelings that still is not the true love. But it is true that this is the first step to that amazing feeling. The true love is something more than falling in love. It is at the first place trust, because without trust every relationship is fated and can't survive a long time. When you have trust in your partner you are anxietyfree. That must be shared because when the one person in the relationship believes in the other, but the other don't do this, this leads to problems and probably to breakup. The true love is a friendship. You must not be a lover to your partner, you must be his friend. Your partner must be the man from who you can ask for advice and who you can say your secrets, because he will not say these things to anyone else, he wouldn't be betrayed you. It is a true love when you can talk about everything with the person who you are in love with. Exactly the talking is the most important thing for the true love, because when the partners talk, they can find a decision to every problem, which they have. One big part of the couples breaking up, because they can't or don't want to talk. When the love is a true love, she can survive everything. Every problem is a test for the feelings and strength of one relationship. The true love is help. When you really love someone you are ready to help him right away and to do everything for him. Of course this must be shared. The true love is care, because when you are in love with someone you make everything that your partner can feel fine and loved. When the love is a true love this fact automatically eliminates the egoism, because now you are not alone and you must thing about the wishes, which have the person with who you are. When you love someone you want to make him happy. The true love means support too. The feeling when you know that by you stands someone who loves you and every time will support you, is really great. One love is true when the two in the relationship are frank and honest. The true love is aspiration for acquaintance of the man who you are in love with. When you became well familiarized with your partner, you will find his entire blemish, but you must not aspire to remove them. If your partner's love to you is real he will make everything possible to remove them himself. When two people can make so that their character fit and when they can make compromises that mean that these people love each other and their love is a true love. To find the true love means to find a perfect match for you, your half. The people are saying that everyone has a half somewhere over the world. When the love is shared, it is a true love and makes you one better person and the world look like a better place for a living. When you and your partner have the same thinking and the same conception for the life, you can be together a very long time. The true love is when two people want to spend their time together in loving each other and when their love survives all of the obstacles, which they meet during their life together. Furthermore, if the people are able to keep their love the same as it was in the beginning through out the years, you can say that this is true love. Remember that finding the true love of your life is really hard and you may need more than one lifetime to make that happen, but in the end it will be worth it. Make sure that you will never stop searching for the true love, because there is no set date that you will find it and also the true love is likely to appear in odd circumstances.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Issues Fast tracking development in the Niger Delta By OGHENEKEVWE LABA efore now, poverty, illiteracy and high rate of criminal activities ranging from militancy, piracy, armed robbery, oil pipeline vandalism and incessant attack on oil pipeline and platforms were the order of the day in the Niger Delta Region. Today, the situation looks different. Environment experts say the damage done to the Niger Delta Region fragile natural environment and to the health of the people was due largely to uncontrolled exploration and exploitation of crude oil and natural gas, which led to numerous spills, gas flaring, the opening up of the forests to loggers, indiscriminate canalizations, flooding, and coastal erosion and earth tremor. Criminal activities in the region resulting from the degradation of the region led to speedy decline of the nation's economy as the oil production which is our main source of revenue generation dropped to all time low rate of 700 barrels per day. Reasons for the criminal activities in the region were not farfetched. The indigenes of the region felt that as the 'chicken that lay the golden eggs', they ought to feel the impact of the resources drained from their area. Successive governments from military rule to democratic government neglected the region. But the people breathe a sigh of relief when Alhaji Musa Yar'Adua became the President of Nigeria in 2007. The President saw reasons with the people of the region and decided to implement programmes that will ameliorate their sufferings. Thus, he introduced the amnesty programme and urged the warring
youths of the region to embrace the programme by denouncing hostility and handling over their illegally acquired fire arms to the government. Unfortunately Yar'Adua did not live long to see the programme the fruit of the programmes he started.
Jonathan, whom he said had pursued the programme with a single-minded tenacity. Kuku, Special Adviser to the President, said the President's attitude for the success of the programme was all part of his greater picture of leaving behind a united country with a robust economy, where the citizens and
The success of the programme had seen the growth of oil production in the Niger Delta Region from a mere 700 barrels per day at the peak of the crisis in the Niger Delta area to the current 2.6million barrels per day, and a leap in its earnings. However, President Goodluck Jonathan, who took over from Yar'Adua as the President of Nigeria did not let his late boss down as he implemented the programme to the latter. Thus, three years after the amnesty programme for Niger Delta militants, the man at the helm of its affairs, Kingsley Kuku, is handling the glory to President Goodluck
foreigners would be free to live and pursue their trades under a safe environment. According to him, the success of the programme had seen the growth of oil production in the Niger Delta Region from a mere 700 barrels per day at the peak of the crisis in the Niger Delta area to the current 2.6million barrels per day, and a leap in its
Red Cap and white wears: What Kwankwaso might not be aware of!
t's been ages since I last wrote, and this is due largely to the nature of my constant travels to give my contribution and make meaningful impact to humanity especially the less privileged in terms of education, health etc. The subject matter: In a number of occasions I learnt Dr RMK mentioning his aim about wearing red cap as well as the slogan of Kwankwasiyya (Ideology), Wuju Wuju, Mahaha...to say the least. Among those aims include honesty, dedication, commitment, service to the people, zero tolerance to corruption, good governance etc. Personally, one thing I found to be part of these
aims is the one I really feel more practical about and can be added to the lot. The simple idea was muted before this (present) government by a particular section of civil servants. The people I am referring to are the messengers and probably the cleaners (popularly known as labourers) in the offices of the state government. The typical appearance of this kind of usually elderly men and at least people beyond youth age are wearing the red cap and white clothes (Kaftans and trousers). Honestly, for me I also look at it as good attempt for the governor to appear and give value to the typical dressing of the people who
are known to be earners of the least salary or allowance and even living in the poorest of condition. The governor might not know about it but I am advocating this to be part of the message he normally delivers to all people of the state, especially with his vision and actions for the state. In summary, I look at the whole issue as part of dedication to be the servant of the people of the state and I hope the governor will continue to prove his worth in our eyes. Thanks, Musa Abdullahi Sufi, Katsina, Nigeria.
Plateau Agenda I
really admire the courage and bravery of General Jeremier Useni Retired by breaking the painful silence while innocent, decent gentlemen and women are being massacred daily. Only a few of the socalled Plateau State Elders and Northern leaders at large could muster such magnanimous courage and tell the truth no matter whose ox is gored. I still wonder why the northern leaders could not come out and speak their minds as Jeremier Useni did. Every passing day an unwanted scenario occurs yet the northern leaders have kept a sealed lips. They only buzz when a
Senator or a Minister is killed. Going by the kind of inflammatory and reckless statements coming from Plateau State Government officials, no one would doubt the indictment of Governor Jonah Jang in the crisis by Jeremier Useni. If Governor Jonah Jang is really interested in restoring the peaceful coexistence in that state, he would not have called for the withdrawal of Army from the state as at now and replace them with his thugs called Rainbow army. What I'm saying is that, peace is far from being achieved in Plateau if Governor Jonah Jang continues to be biased. To
shout when his tribe, Berom, were touched and keep a seal lip when Hausa Fulani are persecuted. Jang should know that he is a leader in Plateau for all but not a sectional leader with a kin size vendetta against certain group of people. Lastly, I call upon the northern governors to stop issuing useless statements only after people were massacred. We need action. They must come up with a solution to the crisis. Plateau is a miniature Nigeria, so whatever affects the state, affects us all. Thus, it requires a collective effort to nip the palaver in the bud. From Comrade Bishir Dauda Sabuwar Unguwa Katsina
earnings. The militants, who had been targeting oil installations apart from engaging in other forms of activities that made the area unsafe to live and do business have all been evacuated from the creeks and have been rehabilitated at various institutions in Nigeria and abroad, where they are learning both formal and informal skills. A total of 5,204 ex-militants are currently undergoing various forms of skills acquisition training or formal education in Nigeria and other parts of the world. The career choices selected by the delegates range from marine, heavy duty operations, welding, agriculture, boat building, oil and gas technics, entrepreneurship, automobile technology and aviation among others. The Amnesty programme's trainees are spread across 28 foreign training institutions in 15 countries across the globe and 36 local training institutions in 10 states of the federation. No fewer than 5,067 of the beneficiaries had already graduated in skills acquisition fields such as welding and fabrication (1,847), entrepreneurship (1,609), pipe fitting (150), carpentry & plumbing (206), oil drilling (32), electrical installation (232), ICT (125), marine related courses (564) and others (302). Already, 95 delegates have been offered direct employment in various governmental and private establishments. Besides, the Amnesty Office is putting finishing touches to mentoring programmes that would see many of the graduates becoming self-employed and employing other Nigerian youths. In addition, 6,280 delegates had already been processed for deployment to local and foreign training institutions to undergo courses ranging from aviation technicians, oil and gas technicians, marine technicians, entrepreneurial development programmes as well as formal education. The rehabilitation of the militants has resulted in the creating of peace and security in the region which has led to the production of between 2.4 and 2.6 million barrels of crude oil per day as against the abysmally low between 700,000 and 800,000 barrels per day at the peak of the Niger Delta crisis in January 2009, the nation and its Joint Venture Partners are currently making production savings of up to 1.9 million barrels per day. When computed with prevailing exchange rate of about N160 to $1, daily production savings for Nigeria and the JV partners currently stand at a minimum of N33.4 billion per day. Given that oil production in Nigeria hovered between 2.4 and 2.6 barrels for all of 2011, it would be safe to emphatically assert that savings for Nigeria and the JV partners for year ending 2011 is estimated to be a whopping N6 trillion. As for infrastructural development, Jonathan through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other intervention agencies has provided good roads which link the adjoining communities of the area. This has led to improvement of trade and social activities among members of the various communities. Dilapidated school buildings are renovated to standard while new ones were constructed to meet modern standard. Bridges are constructed to link riverine areas. Besides, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is fast tracking the completion of 57 ongoing projects valued at N1.3 trillion spread across the oil-rich Niger Delta region. The Managing Director of the commission, Dr Christian Oboh, stated recently in Port Harcourt that the new board had resolved to award fewer contracts and speed up the completion of the 57 on-going projects inherited from the previous board. Although critics may argue that enough has not been done in the region, but critical observation showed that ever since Jonathan mounted the saddle of power, there have been serious developments in the region, particularly in human, infrastructure, economy and social aspect. This development has led to increase in the financial balance sheet of the country. Laba, a journalist, wrote from Lagos
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Blatter: I Can't Punish Havelange over Bribes
FIFA President, Sepp Blatter FIFA president Sepp Blatter insisted on Thursday that he did not have the power to punish former supremo Joao Havelange after the 96-year-old Brazilian was accused of taking bribes. Court documents released in Switzerland revealed that Havelange, FIFA president for 24 years before Blatter stepped into the hot seat in 1998, pocketed at least 1.5m Swiss francs (£986,000) and FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least 12.74m, reports AFP. The bribes, made by International Sport and Leisure (ISL), were detailed in documents made public by Switzerland's Supreme Court and published by the BBC on Wednesday. FIFA's discredited Swiss-based marketing partner collapsed in 2001 with debts of around $300 million. But Blatter went on the attack on Thursday, insisting that he was powerless to sanction his predecessor. "I don't have the power to call him to account. The Congress named him as Honorary President. Only the Congress can decide his future," Blatter told www.fifa.com. Blatter insisted that payments were not illegal under Swiss law at the time. "Known what? That commission was paid? Back then, such payments could even be deducted from tax as a business expense," he said. "Today, that would be punishable under law. You can't judge the past on the basis of today's standards. Otherwise it would end up with moral justice. I can't have known about an offence that wasn't even one." Blatter admitted he had been referred to as P1 in the court documents. "It was the Swiss Federal Court that decided to make the publication of the ISL non-prosecution order anonymous. As far as I am concerned, the whole document could have been published 'clean', to put an end to the speculation once and for all," he said. "However, the Federal Court stated that the 'names of all non-accused third parties' should be made anonymous. I am not
accused, so I have been made anonymous as P1, which quite honestly is not difficult to find out." FIFA published the Swiss court's report on its website on Wednesday and in a statement world football's governing body emphasised that while Havelange and
chiefs had knowledge that Havelange and Teixeira had been paid bribes by ISL. It also disclosed that FIFA had agreed to pay 2.5million Swiss francs (£1.64m) in compensation - but only on the condition that criminal proceedings against Havelange and Teixeira were dropped.
Teixeira were identified Blatter was not. "The decision of the Swiss Federal Court also confirms that only two foreign officials will be named as part of the process and that.....the FIFA president is not involved in the case," the statement stressed. The court documents did reveal that FIFA
Court documents released in Switzerland revealed that Havelange, FIFA president for 24 years before Blatter stepped into the hot seat in 1998, pocketed at least 1.5m Swiss francs (£986,000) and FIFA executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira at least 12.74m, reports AFP.
Havelange, who remains FIFA's honorary president, stepped down after a 48-yearspell as a member of the International Olympic Committee last December just days before an ethics hearing into his links with ISL. Havelange was accused by a BBC documentary in 2010 of kickbacks totalling $1 million from ISL for granting lucrative World Cup contracts. Havelange, who became an IOC member in 1963, was FIFA president between 1974-98 before he was replaced by Blatter, his long time FIFA secretary general. In May he was discharged after two months in hospital in Rio de Janeiro where he was being treated for an ankle infection and cardiac and pulmonary problems. He is the former father-in-law of Teixeira, who recently resigned as head of Brazilian football and as chief of Brazil's organizing committee for the 2014 World Cup following a spate of corruption allegations.
NFF Plans Staff Retrenchment W
orkers of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) are holding their nerves in suspense after they were told of the intention of the secretariat to relieve some of them of their employment in the coming days. Federation President Aminu Maigari dropped hint of this impending major shake off at a meeting he had with the staff on Wednesday. NFF has over 100 workers in his two offices in Lagos and Abuja. The planned rationalization is the first of such exercise at the 'Glasshouse' in more than a decade. We scooped Wednesday that Maigari was emphatic on the need for the rationalization as the federation wanted to
Kanu Goes to War with Portsmouth
NFF President Aminu Maigari
save costs by trimming its work force by sacking idle workers. According to Maigari, the restructuring would be carried out in all the departments of the secretariat before the federation relocates to its new secretariat which is under construction at the National Stadium. We also learnt that the present NFF office, which is in a complex which the federation shares with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), will be retained and probably converted to an equipment store. At the occasion, Maigari also allayed concerns of the workers, who complained about the lopsidedness in distribution of international trips. He assured them that would be looked into and with fairness
ormer Super Eagles skipper, Nwankwo Kanu Thursday accused Portsmouth FC of England of 'utter contempt and disrespect' and pledged to continue to boycott training .To drum support for his action against Portsmouth, Kanu has already filed claims running into millions of pounds against the Blues with the English Football League board. If accepted, funds will come out of crucial distribution payments pinpointed to keep the club alive. Kanu, who is Pompey's longest-serving player, has failed to attend the first three days of pre-season training as he is currently in Nigeria. His lawyer, Samuel Okoronkwo, claimed Thursday that the 2008 FA Cup hero has taken the stance over his treatment by the club. Administrator Trevor Birch, has been in prolonged talks regarding a compromise agreement to settle the remaining 12 months of the 35-year-old's contract. He has not played for the Blues since October 2011 and Pompey are desperate to drive down the £9.5m wage bill and stave off the threat of liquidation. However, the situation has come to a head after Kanu failed to turn up for pre-season training on Monday. On Tuesday evening his attorney lodged a claim with the Football League under the football creditors' ruling. And Okoronkwo insists his client is entitled to the money, which is earmarked to keep the club running through administration. He said: 'I have been given authorisation to speak on Mr Kanu's behalf. He feels very aggrieved. “He has regrettably been forced to serve the requisite notices of breaches of contract by the club, both historically and presently. “This naturally leads to the Football League. “He has been playing and scoring goals for Portsmouth for six years, sometimes playing through injury. Now he is being treated like this. “He has lost millions of pounds since 2006 through genuine contractual obligations but has been prepared to wait. “Now they are threatening breach of contract. “Mr Trevor Birch attended my office in May and said he did not want Kanu to stay at the club, which I found surprising, especially having waived millions of pounds he is entitled to. “Then I received an e-mail on Saturday stating if he did not turn up for training on Monday he would be held in breach of contract. “I had already told the club he was doing a job for the Nigerian national team so was unable to. “Mr Birch also wanted a compromise agreement to be reached on the Sunday. That was entirely unrealistic. “The club have not shown themselves to be worthy to reach any agreement with him through the utter contempt and disrespect they have shown. “Kanu has been willing and able to play and trains every day. “But he finds himself unable to return to the club. He wants to be treated respectfully and, on that basis, cannot return to training,' claimed Kanu's attorney Thursday.
17th - 23rd July, 2012
With Yunusa Abubakar 08025533038(SMS ONLY) email@example.com
Road to South Africa 2013 T
he road to success is not decorated with roses and the journey to next year African Cup of Nations is full of trials, thorny and grinding moments. The initial preliminary round of the qualifier was highly competitive, as most of the teams passed through the eyes of the needle before securing victory. The draw for the final round of the qualification phase was made in Johannesburg couple of days back and the pairing is quite revealing. My submission is that, it is going to be a dicey battle as all the teams have the pedigree to capture the Nation's cup ticket. The volcanic and titanic pairings are; Eagles of Mali VS Botswana, Syli Stars of Guinea VS Menas of Niger, Zimbabwe VS Palancas Negras of Angola, Sudan VS Ethiopa, Black Stars of Ghana VS Flames of Malawi, Libya VS Desert Warriors of Algeria, Liberia VS Super Eagles of Nigeria, Elephants of Cote d' ivoire VS Lions of Senegal, Chipolopolo of Zambia VS Cranes of Uganda, Dr Congo VS Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde VS Indomitable Lions of Cameroun, Azingo Stars of Gabon VS Hawks of Togo, Mozambique VS Atlas Lions of Morocco, Central Africa VS Stallion of Bukina Faso and Lone Stars of Sierraleone VS Tunisia. South Africa the Rainbow Nation qualify automatically as the host country and the remaining 30 countries will contest for the 15 spots in a two legs encounter to decide the victor
and qualifier for the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). The 30 teams will pay home and away fixtures on September 7-9 and October 12-14 to determine the 16 finalists. The final draw will take place on October 16 after the
This message is for the Super Eagles, 'in the journey to success you will encounter storms, obstacles and difficulties on the road, but you have to keep going even when the going is rough. When the Chicken sees a storm, it runs away, but when an eagle sees the storm it rises above it and continues the journey.
qualification phase has been concluded. I refer to these battles as, 'classic of African Football'. The biggest confrontation is between Senegal and Cote D'ivoire as the square up in a make or mar contest. This is a game that I cannot stick out my neck as the two teams have the stars, character and experience to win this match-up.
Ivoriens will rely on Didier Drogba the talisman there is a way”. My dear readers pardon me for striker to inspire them to victory. The likes of not previewing the other teams and I promise to Ibrahim Ba and Moussa Sow have the do it in subsequent write-up. machinaries to nail the coffin of the Elephant team. Black Stars of Ghana has to be careful
Minister congratulates D'Tigers
HE Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi has congratulated the Nigerian male basketball team, D'Tigers for qualifying for the London 2012 Olympics by grabbing the third spot at the FIBA Olympics Qualifier which took place in Caracas, Venezuela. Abdullahi said the team showed unusual passion, discipline and commitment, which are hallmarks of the Nigerian spirit. In a letter to Tijani Umar, the President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, Abdullahi wrote: “With the kind of overwhelming joy that followed this historic achievement across our country where people stayed awake to follow the match, one cannot but feel that perhaps, a
when the face Malawi National team. The minnows always carry the garment of upset with them. They have made their statement in African football with some impressive results recently. I am looking forward to watch the match between two North Africans rivals (Algeria VS Libya). Libya is a rising force in African football and the lessons the leant from the last Nations Cup will guide them tremendously. Algeria is a combative team and on paper I tip them to eliminate the Libya team. There is a proverb that says,' anywhere the Chicken goes it must come home to come and roost'. The Super Eagles takes on Liberia national team in a do or die head on collision. Our darling team is condemned to beat the Liberia National team. There is no room for failure and excuses. Remember the saying, 'excuses are just like nail to build a house of failure'. Nigeria Soccer Fans are still feeling the ugly pains of the Eagles absence during the last Nations Cup in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea. This message is for the Super Eagles, 'in the journey to success you will encounter storms, obstacles and difficulties on the road, but you have to keep going even when the going is rough. When the Chicken sees a storm, it runs away, but when an eagle sees the storm it rises above it and continues the journey. The crown of success is given to those who have gone through the fire and come out alive. Our team should follow the Eagles part not that of the Chicken. Zig Zigla says, “Where there is will
revolution is about to happen in Nigerian sports and this may ultimately be a triumph for basketball.” He continued: “The 'boys' can be confident that a grateful nation will remember for a long time to come that they, with typical Nigerian grits and determination, have extended the frontiers of our achievements in sports by qualifying our country for the men's basketball events of the Olympic for the first time ever. “ He however urged the team not to be lulled by its present victory but to focus on the ultimate prize. “The destination is London. And, I have no doubt in my mind, that with the Almighty God on our side and with the same commitment and will to excel, D'Tigers will triumph in London and your names would be written in
gold.” He also assured the team of Government's unalloyed support. D'Tigers made the cut for the Olympics Games after beating Dominican Republic 88-73 in an exciting third-place match. The team had earlier defeated Lithuania and Greece, but lost to Russia at the semi-final. After its first loss, the Minister had charged the team not to allow the defeat to dampen their spirit. “What happened at the Semi-final against Russia was a mere stumble, because Tigers don't fall. As you wake up, you have to forget that defeat and seize your place in history by beating Dominican Republic to qualify for London. Every man and woman, every child in our country prays for you on this day. By the grace of the almighty God, you shall be victorious,” Abdullahi wrote in a letter that was read to the whole team.
Kanu Bares his mind on the Olympic Games
FEW days to the kick-off of the football event of the 2012 Olympic, captain of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics football gold-winning team, Nwankwo Kanu, is yet to get over Nigeria's absence from the Games. However, Kanu, who was one of the London Olympic Games' torchbearers, recently, urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) not to allow the absence of the team to affect the preparation for the 2014 Olympics in Brazil. “It is sad news that we are not going to be at the London Olympic Games, having become the first African team to win gold medal at the Games,” he said. “I had wanted to be in London to support the team but we are not going to be there and we have to pray for the next four years to be there. “But for me, carrying the torch for this Olympics is a sign of unity and peace, considering the situation in the country, and I believe the torch will bring peace to the country.” On what to do to make it to Brazil 2014 Olympics, the Arsenal former star says “it is always good when we prepare very well because when I was there, we gave our best during the qualifiers till we won the medal in Atlanta. “I want to say that the Olympics team gave its best but it was not enough to take it to London. But for the next Olympics, we don't have to wait before we commence preparation. We must commence early enough so that players can understand themselves before the qualifiers.” Nevertheless, he was happy over his selection as one of the torch bearers, saying: “Having won gold at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and been nominated by Samsung to be among the torchbearers, I think I really enjoyed the moment with my family and will cherish this for a long time to come.” Kanu also lauded the Super Eagles' handler, Stephen Keshi, for what the team has achieved so far, urging Nigerians to be patient with the team. He noted: “We don't have to panic because other nations are always in panic whenever they are going to face Nigeria. “I think for now Keshi is doing a great job and we have to be patient with the team and give the coach a chance to build a solid team. There is no doubt that we have good players, both at home and abroad, and we just need to give the coach chance to build a good team.”
17th - 23rd July, 2012
Succeeding Against All Odds
Success is achieved only through perseverance and hardwork For it is a journey through real Difficult times H E T RA R E S
Do what you believe in and believe in what you do
Solid Years Of Investigative Journalism
Vol. 2 No. 143 17th - 23rd JULY, 2012
SHA’ABAN 1433 A.H
Zamfara's Ambivalent Budget of Hope? By NASIR AHMED EL-RUFAI
ver the past nine state budgets analysed, two trends have emerged. There are the few governments interested in making a mark and leaving the state better than they met it by appropriating the state resources wisely and efficiently. They focus on making capital investments and placing solid physical structures and human capital on ground. While there are others who have little to offer and are therefore advancing the personal interests of a few. The latter have no strategy or plan for developing their states as can be seen from their budgets which in these cases were prepared haphazardly with no defined strategy in mind. Hopefully their errors have been highlighted to the electorate which have the ultimate power to vote people into elective positions. Our focus this week is on the Northwestern state of Zamfara which like Nasarawa voted out a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in the last election. Until 1996 when the Sani Abacha administration created the state, it was part of Sokoto State. It became globally notorious as the first state to introduce Sharia in its criminal law in 2000. Zamfara shares borders with Sokoto State and Niger Republic to the north, Katsina and Kaduna States to the east and Niger and Kebbi States to the south. In terms of population, Zamfara ranks 21st among the 36 states and FCT with a population of 3,278,873 as at the 2006 population census. In the present republic, there have been three governors of the state -- Ahmad Sani Yerima who served two terms (19992007), Mahmud Shinkafi (2007-2011) and Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari the incumbent. Besides politics, not much is recorded about Governor Yari's past experience and endeavours. He was elected to represent Talata Mafara/Anka Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in 1999. He was the state chairman of the ANPP, and a member of the cabinet of former Governor Ahmad Sani. In November 2007, Yari was among Zamfara State officials accused of money laundering by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), but has since remained old newspaper headlines like many others cases. Zamfara is a predominantly agrarian state. Its slogan is “farming is our pride”. Over 80 per cent of the people are engaged in various forms of agriculture. Major agricultural products include millet, guinea corn, maize, rice, groundnut, cotton, tobacco and beans. According to the Raw Materials Research and Development Council's (RMRDC) report on non-metallic mineral endowments in
Nigeria, 2010, the state possesses glass sand deposits which are not being exploited. Other resources believed to be in the state are gold, chromate, chamovite, granite, clay, limestone, quartz and kaolin. Until recently when the lead poisoning pandemic broke out in the state, many people were unaware of the occurrence of gold in the state. Illegal mining and exports of this gold have been ongoing for some time. One wonders what the state is
Gov. Yari Gov. doing towards pressurising the Federal Government to organise the mining of this gold in commercial quantities for export purposes in the same way crude oil is being produced which would increase the revenue accruals to the state. According to the former commissioner for environment in the state, Zamfara could potentially rake in at least $200 million (N32bn which is 10 times its IGR) annually from the mining of copper alone. This alone would turn around the fortunes of the state and create jobs for the teeming youths. Despite the emergence of gold mining as a major source of employment for the people who have abandoned their farmlands for this more lucrative business, unemployment in the state is 33.4 per cent, the second highest in the country after Yobe State according to data from the NBS in 2010. Compare these figures to the best state Lagos (7.6%) and it is clear that job-creation strategies should be the main policy focus of the Zamfara State government. In the North-west zone, 67.4 per cent of the population survive on less than a dollar a day, 51.8 per cent are food poor, while 70.6 per cent are absolutely poor. It is the poorest region of the country across all the indices. Interestingly, Zamfara State has a food poverty incidence of 44.4 per cent, the second lowest in the region
apart from Kaduna. Absolute poverty is 70.8 per cent and 71.3 per cent cannot afford a dollar per day. There has been a 3.1 per cent decrease in income inequality between 2004 and 2010 which is commendable, but it is not clear whether this was a fluke or the outcome of deliberate policies. Zamfara is one of the states which have shifted from single-year budgeting to multi-year-based budgeting. The
is the recurrent budget. Despite the fact that the state does not meet up to the 70 per cent capital expenditure requirement, of all the states analyzed on this column so far, it comes closest to the requirement after Akwa-Ibom (83.7 per cent of its 2012 budget for capital expenditure). Zamfara's proportional capital allocation is better than those of Benue (48%), Bauchi and Lagos (53%), Kaduna (55%) and Nasarawa (60%). It is a step in the right direction if the state wants to meet up with the above Zamfara is one of the mentioned states in terms of development given its states which have backwardness in many areas. shifted from single-year A closer look at the recurrent budget shows the state's budgeting to multi-yearpersonnel cost is N16.8 billion (14% of total budget), overhead based budgeting. The costs is N12 billion (10% of government collaborates budget), consolidated revenue fund charges N4.4 billion (4%) with some revenue and a rather huge internal debt service provision of N9.1 billion consultants and the United (8%). The debt service provision confirms that Governor Yari Kingdom Department for inherited significant amounts of International Development short-term debt approaching maturity including regular SPARC programme in servicing. Between 2012 and 2014, the state intends to borrow preparing the budget at least N20 billion annually. This estimates for 2012-2014. debt build-up should keep Governor Yari awake at night. government collaborates with some On the revenue side, recurrent revenue revenue consultants and the United is N75.5 billion, while capital revenue is Kingdom Department for International N45.3 billion. The recurrent revenue is Development SPARC programme in composed of Statutory Allocation of N40.1 preparing the budget estimates for 2012- billion (34% of total budget), Federal 2014. Judging from the state government's Government grants of N32.6 billion (27%) proposals, it appears that the leadership and a meagre IGR of N3.2 billion (3%). The has identified the state's problem areas IGR is 19 per cent of the state's personnel and are poised to address the challenges. cost. This is totally pathetic. If the state was This explains why Governor Yari seems to to survive without allocations from the enjoy the support of the ordinary people FAAC, it is obvious that the state will of the state. cease to exist as an administrative entity. The 2012 budget of the state amounts to N120, 810,192,000. N75.5 billion (63%) is Cont’d on page 27 capital budget, while N45.27 billion (37%)
PICTURE OF THE WEEK
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Published on Jul 17, 2012
Discrimination Against HND Holders:Dark Clouds Hang Over Customs Service! * President Jonathan is confused and incompetent - Balarabe Musa *...