Page 1

FG threatens to close revenue agencies’ bank accounts

Tukur not competent to lead PDP –Wamakko

...over unremitted N58bn TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA


he Federal Government has threatened to decisively sanc-


tion some revenue generating agencies for failing to remit over N58bn collected on behalf of the Federal Government into the Consolidated Revenue Fund,

Vol. 3 N0. 643

UNIUYO crisis:

CRF, accusing the agencies and banks of conniving to sit on government funds. Already, government has set a June 17 deadline for CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

You’re free to leave, says party chair


Friday, June 14, 2013


Five student leaders killed in auto crash ...survivor indicts police

NANS President, others brutalised in Ibadan, demands IG’s removal



he crisis that engulfed the University of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, which led to the killing of a student and the closure of the institution, yesterday claimed the lives of the Senate President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, and four others in a ghastly motor accident. Seven other students also sustained serious injuCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>


A jet at a filling station on Igando-Iyana Iba road in Lagos, yesterday.


Hezbollah: Detained Lebanese are terrorists, SSS insists

FAAC meeting aborted, states at war with FG on allocation


Amnesty committee dialogue with 104 Boko Haram suspects in Lagos prisons

We’ll mobilise people against our detractors –Amaechi







Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Hezbollah: Detained Lebanese are terrorists, SSS insists ISE-OLUWA IGE, FRANCIS SUBERU AND A ZA MSUE


he State Security Service, SSS, yesterday said that the three Lebanese businessmen detained in connection with armed cache uncovered in Kano were members of a terrorist organisation. The agency which produced the three men before an Abuja Federal High Court disclosed that fresh information at its disposal revealed that the Lebanese were international terror-

ists operating in Nigeria and its environs. The security agency also declared that it followed due process in their arrest and detention, contrary to claims in some quarters. The SSS added that it had established that the detainees had committed more serious terrorism offences in the past and that they constituted a serious security risk to the country. Counsel to the SSS, Mr. J. Osagie, said that the service was already partnering with international security organisations to unmask the operations of terrorists in Nigeria in order to root

them out. He, however, said that a more comprehensive charge detailing the atrocities committed by the accused persons would be filed in court soon. “My lord, we are already in court against the applicants (the Lebanese). We are not doing anything that is not covered by law. We are before a magistrate court already. And I can confirm that we are taking steps to properly charge them before a high court, which has jurisdiction to try the offences of terrorism which we have established against them,” he added.

The high court had last Monday in Abuja ordered the SSS, the InspectorGeneral of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation to produce the owner of Amigo Supermarket, Mustapha Fawaz, and three other Lebanese suspected to have imported arms into the country for alleged terrorist activities yesterday. The other suspects were Abdallah Tahini and Tala Ahmed Roda who are presently in custody. When they appeared in court yesterday, they were all wearing bathroom slippers. Two of them wore chi-

The three Lebanese arraigned in Abuja, yesterday.


Five student leaders killed in auto crash CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

ries. The accident, which occurred at Ariam in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State on the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene road, involved a Hiace bus in which the students were travelling in and a trailer that was coming from Akwa Ibom State. National Mirror learnt that the trailer lost control and rammed into the bus conveying the students. The students were said to be on their way to Uyo to mediate in the crisis that erupted in the university two days ago. The dead students are Mr. Donald Onukaogu (Senate president); Mr. Abdulaziz Oladimeji, a candidate for the National President of the union from the University of Ibadan; Mr. Japhafa Duru, Zone B Assistant General Secretary, and Mr. Jerry Sorkar. However, the names

of those who sustained injuries could not be ascertained at press time as students were preventing newsmen from gathering information about the victims. The corpses of the deceased were reported to have been deposited at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Umuahia mortuary, while the injured are also receiving treatment at the same facility. Sources at the FMC confirmed to our correspondent that 12 persons were brought to the hospital after the accident with five confirmed dead; six were in critical condition while one escaped without any injury. There was tension and apprehension when our correspondent visited the hospital as students of tertiary institutions within Owerri and its environs and other sympathisers were seen weeping. The Abia State Sector

Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Mr. John Meheux; NANS Director, Action and Mobilisation, Mr. Sunday Asefon, confirmed the incident. Meheux said the accident, which involved a truck and a mini-bus belonging to NANS, occurred at Ariam-Ndioru Junction in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State. Meheux said that four of the victims died on the spot, while one died on the way to the hospital. Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, who visited the hospital immediately, sympathised with the students over the incident. The governor, who described the incident as a calamity, cautioned drivers to be careful and to maintain a manageable speed. The governor said the incident was disheartening as future leaders of the

country had lost their lives through the accident. He advised student leaders to embark on negotiation with the authorities before they resort to violence, saying that such actions usually end in catastrophe. The doctor on duty at the casualty ward of the hospital, Dr. Kalu, said that the victims were brought in the morning and were said to have had a head on collision with a lorry at Ikwuano. The Zone B Coordinator of NANS, Chinonso Obasi, thanked the governor for sympathising with them and pledged on behalf of the students to be good ambassadors. Another account, however, said that policemen manning a road block caused the accident. But the Abia State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Geoffery Ogbonna, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

nos trousers while the third wore jeans. Justice Adeniyi Ademola gave the order following an ex-parte application by the counsel to the suspects, Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), to enforce their fundamental human rights. But in a counter-affidavit yesterday, the SSS said the ongoing investigation of the Lebanese had assumed international dimension that required time and advanced expertise to conclude. Clarke, who spoke for the Lebanese yesterday, urged the court to issue an order compelling the SSS to produce the applicants in court each time the case comes up. He also sought another order compelling the security agency to allow selected lawyers to have access to the accused while in their custody. Justice Ademola consequently granted the Lebanese the requests even as he gave them five days to respond to the SSS allegations contained in the counteraffidavit. The matter has been adjourned till July 12 for hearing. But immediately court rose yesterday, photojournalists who had bombarded the court began to take pictures of them. The Lebanese who initially protested had to cover their faces. The suspects had sued the SSS, the AGF and the IG, challenging their arrest and detention. Meanwhile, gunmen yesterday killed two soldiers and others in Kwasakwasa Village in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State in a fresh attack on the metropolis. Some security vehicles were also burnt in the attack which happened about 6a.m. A resident of Kwasakwasa, a village located about 70 kilometres from Birnin Gwari, who did not want his name mentioned, said that about four vehicles belonging to security agencies were burnt. But unknown to many Nigerians, about 104 members of the deadly Boko Haram Islamic sect are being detained in Lagos prisons. Of the number, 70 are being detained at the Kirikiri Maximum Security Pris-

ons, while the remaining 34 are being held at the medium section of the facility, located in Apapa area of the city. Already, the Federal Government yesterday began dialogue with the suspects. Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North, led by the Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu, led the committee members to the meeting with the sect members. The 18-man committee first paid a visit to the Medium Prison and was received by the Deputy Controller, Mr. Tunde Ladipo. It held a one-on-one session with the 34 suspects being held there after which it moved to the Maximum Security section, where the Deputy Controller of Prisons, DCP, Mr. Olumide Tinuoye, received the team. Also in the entourage were the Controller of Prisons, Lagos State Command, Katherine Onoye; the Assistant Controller-General of Prisons in charge of Operations, Mr. Nuhu Zuru; Head of Operations of the State Security Service, SSS, Mr. Raymond Nkemdilim and the state Prison Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Bisi Jeje. Taminu also debunked claims that the visit was aimed at releasing some of the suspects. “The issue of release is usually contingent upon certain conditions. For now, we are more concerned with the release of vulnerable people and in this group of vulnerable people we have those people the security agencies have not been able to pin anything on them. “We have seen those, who the Directorate of Public Prosecution, DPR, have advised their release. We have also seen some whom the security agencies have conceded that they have nothing against them. “These are the people that usually the committee advice that they be released. But we have not seen any woman or child here but even at that I am sure the committee will make appropriate recommendations as usual even in the interim as far the issue of their release or non- release is concerned,” he added.

National Mirror

Friday, June 14, 2013



Photo News

Friday, June 14, 2013

L-R: Winner of the Primary School Category, Essay Competition, Master Odumosu Bolu, from Lady-Lak Primary School, Bariga; Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; Managing Director, FAN Milk, Mr. Fleming Herdsberg and Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, during the presentation of prizes at the 5th Anniversary of Climate Change Club for Schools in Lagos State tagged: “Eat, Think and Conserve for Future” in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Chairman of the occasion, Chief Olu Fubara, Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi and Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mrs. Ibim Seminatari, during the meeting of the ministry’s Council on Information, in Port Harcourt, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

National Mirror

L-R: Coordinator, International Day of the African Child and Youths, Mr. Mohammed Attah; Special Assistant to the Senate President on NGOs, Ms. Nehi Okumwedia and Chairman, Government-Civil Society Partnership Programme, Dr. Lanre Adebayo, during the 2013 International Day of the African Child and Youths in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Research Director, Raw Material Research and Development Council, Dr. Ado Abdullahi; Assistant Director, Mrs. Maria Obi and Director-General, Prof. Peter Onwualu, at a sensitisation workshop on the socio-economic benefits of tiger nut and walnut in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

National News

No going back on anti-same sex bill –Mark GEORGE OJI ABUJA


enate President David Mark has said the decision of the National Assembly to ban same-sex marriage in the country was irreversible. Mark, according to a statement, said this at a dinner hosted in his honour by the Nigerian Community in Prague, Czech Republic, yesterday. The Senate president explained that the bill, which has been approved by both chambers of the National Assembly, would not in any way infringe on the rights of Nigerians. He said: “The law against same-sex marriage is an approval of the wishes of the generality of Nigerians who are desirous of living within our cultural bounds. “The law is not designed to infringe on the human rights of Nigerians in any way. Also, wherever you go in our country today,

our people are completely in support of the National Assembly because the practice of same-sex, as you all know, is alien to us.” Mark also charged Nigerians living abroad, who are passionate about coming home to contribute their quota to the development of their fatherland, to use the opportunities contained in the transformation agenda of the Federal Government by joining the struggle to make Nigeria great. He said: “You don’t need to wait till ‘the date Nigeria will be better’ before coming home to contribute your quota. “Nigerians are hardworking people and you contribute in no small measure to the economy of your countries of residence. “For those who desire to join us at home to improve the state of our economy and infrastructural development, you are welcome.”

Mark disclosed that his mission to Prague was to foster relationship between the National Assembly and the Parliament of Czech Republic through cooperation in the areas of education, culture, trade and medicine. He said: “We want the Czech Republic and her

people to buy fully into our economy by setting up factories, institutions and providing scholarship for training. “We are also aware of their best practices in medicine and we are interested in that too.” Meanwhile, the Senate president has appealed to

the Czech Republic to allow a Nigerian prisoner, Mr. Victor Urhia, to be transferred back home to complete his prison terms. Urhia, who is serving terms on drug-related offences, is said to be living on one kidney, having lost his second kidney in the course of his imprison-

ment. Mark also appealed to the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Mr. Karel Scwarzenberg, to help prevail on the government to transfer Urhia to complete his jail term in Nigeria.

States yet to access N35bn UBEC funds -Minister EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA


he Federal Government has expressed worry that an estimated N35 billion Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, money was yet to be accessed by states, long after it was lodged in some designated banks. The Minister of State for Education, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, disclosed this yesterday, during the ongoing “2013 Ministerial Platform: A Mid-Term Report on the

Progress and Achievements of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration.” Wike said the Federal Government was doing all it could to revamp the education sector, in terms of access to quality education. The minister, therefore, called on states yet to access the UBEC funds to hasten to do so, in order to complement the efforts of government at providing access to education for children of school age. Earlier, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqa-

yyatu Rufai, disclosed that investment in education sector had risen from N234 billion in 2010 to N427 billion this year. Rufai said since the coming on board of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, enrolment in child-education had grown significantly “from 18 million at inception to 22 million. She also disclosed that about N1.6 billion had been earmarked for the provision of equipment and infrastructure in Federal Colleges of Education.

On what the government was doing to re-enact the glorious days of Federal Government Colleges, the minister said “about 75 libraries have been built and equipped with air-conditioners...” In a related development, a memorial colloquium was held in honour of Prof. C. Onwuliri, who lost his life during the 2012 Dana air crash at Iju-Shaga, Lagos State. The event, which held at the National Universities Commission, NUC, auditorium, also witnessed the launch of a foundation.

National Mirror


Friday, June 14, 2013


FG threatens to close revenue agencies’ bank accounts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the outstanding remittances to be made otherwise the bank accounts of the agencies will be closed and the agencies and collaborator banks prosecuted. Handing down the deadline yesterday in a statement she signed personally, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said such a flagrant disregard of existing revenue collection laws

and rules was a conspiracy against national interest which would no longer be condoned. According to her, about N58bn of such monies, which should have been remitted to the CRF are still trapped in the revenue agencies’ accounts in some banks even as several attempts by the government to secure the remittance into the Federal Government coffers were rebuffed by the agencies.

Okonjo-Iweala said: “It has come to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance that some Federal Government agencies that generate independent revenue, in collusion with some banks, have refused to remit monies to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, of the Federal Government which they are obliged by law to do. “We have identified about N58bn of such monies which rightfully belongs in the CRF.

“This unwholesome practice has persisted despite the efforts of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, OAGF, to encourage the agencies and the affected banks to do the right thing.” “Rather than comply, the agencies and banks, through their lawyers have engaged in all manner of legal subterfuge to ensure that monies which are due to the Federal Government are not remitted,” the min-

Left: Office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Uyo, damaged by protesting students. Right: The Exams and Records Unit set on fire on Wednesday. PHOTO: NAN

ister added. She explained further that the objective of the conspiracy against the national interest was clear and that is to keep government monies indefinitely in accounts earning interest for individuals at the expense of the Federal Government and the Nigerian people. The minister warned that the behaviour was totally unacceptable, adding that her ministry is determined that this practice must end forthwith. Accordingly, she said that effective Monday, June 17, the OAGF, in exercise of its powers under the extant laws and rules, will close the accounts of agencies involved in this practice in all banks. She noted that the process of systematic closure of the agencies’ accounts in the banks will continue until all monies that should have been remitted into the CRF are retrieved. It would be recalled that the Director-General of the Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, had in a document entitled, ‘FGN 2013 budget: Fiscal

Consolidation with Inclusive Growth,’ made available to the public last April identified non-remittance of collections by the revenue agencies as one of the challenges threatening the implementation of the 2013 budget. Okogu said: “Revenue challenges facing the budget are independent revenue non-full remittance by revenue generating agencies; taxes collection efficiency issues (Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Custom Service); pipeline vandalism and oil theft,” he said “When I say challenges, they are not peculiar to this year’s budget. It is the type of challenges we face and which we are fighting to rectify, and one of them is the revenue side. “The independent revenue, which is the non-full remittance, which we sometimes experience with some of the agencies, we are working hard and the National Assembly has also contributed in this respect to make it clear that all monies that are due to government belongs to the government.”

Five student leaders killed in auto crash CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

dismissed the allegation as baseless and untrue. He told our correspondent that what brought the police to the scene of the accident was to keep the peace because the youths of the area where the accident occurred initially prevented the evacuation of the corpses to the hospital mortuary. Ogbonna stressed that government officials should visit the scene of the accident to see how impassable the road has been for a long time. The youths believe that it was the bad road that caused the accident. But government’s officials said the road is a federal road and that the state has been undertaking palliative measures in maintaining the road over the years. Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command confirmed that a student was killed in Wednesday’s violent protest. The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Umar Gwadabe, confirmed the death of the student in Uyo. Gwadabe said that con-

trary to speculations that three students died, the police confirmed the death of one student. He said that 45 students had been arrested in connection with the protest, stressing that but for the timely intervention of the police; the protest would have engulfed the whole town. “The police are duty bound to stop the protest from escalating from campus into town as the students tried to advance into the city. In this circumstance, the police did not do anything wrong,” he said. National Mirror learnt that the dead student, Kingsley Udoette, is to be buried tomorrow in Ika. Within the university, property worth millions of naira and the entire academic records stored in the Registrar’s Department were lost to the protest. Though no management staff was ready to volunteer comments on the extent of damage, the Chairman of the university branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Anyim Nwachukwu, said: “When there is a problem, there is always room for

what caused it and that is in the realm of subjectivism. “The main issue on ground for now is that there was a crisis on campus and from the information I have received, some lives were lost and there is massive destruction to the university property. “For now, it is difficult to say what are the immediate and remote causes of the crisis since we are yet to receive security report on the matter but, if it was the issue of fees, how is it that offices of my colleagues were broken into and things been stolen. We can’t be definite about the kind of damage that occurred.” When our correspondent visited the campus, it was observed that most of the offices were either completely vandalised or burnt down. Among the offices razed by the irate students include those of the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Comfort Ekpo; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) and his counterpart in Administration and a female hostel. Others were the office of the Registrar, Mrs. Eduak Umondak; the block hous-

ing Academic Records and the Governing Council Affairs. The block housing the Cash Office, Finance and Accounts, Office of the Director, Computer Services and the portal where online registrations are carried out for students were completely vandalised and computers stolen. Also, over 15 cars belonging to members of staff were smashed and some destroyed beyond repairs. Umondak, who was seen inspecting the destruction of the university property refused to speak to newsmen, but she told some members of staff that she escaped by a whisker. As at the time of filing this report, policemen have taken over the entire university and blocked all major roads leading to the institution while vehicles are diverted to other routes. An eyewitness told National Mirror that one of the three students who died during the riot inhaled teargas. The victim, a lady, was said to be an asthmatic patient. Meanwhile, some lead-

ers of NANS, including its president, Yinka Gbadebo, were intercepted in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday by a team of mobile policemen during a protest staged over the alleged killing of their colleagues at the University of Uyo and the death of five others in an auto crash. NANS had mobilised the students of higher institutions in Ibadan yesterday to publicly demand for the removal of the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, over what it called police brutality against Nigerian students, especially the latest alleged killing of two students of UNIUYO, which they said also led to the death of the members of the association’s leadership. In a telephone interview with National Mirror, NANS President had claimed that they were intercepted by mobile joint task force team of the police in Ibadan where many of the students were beaten and tear gassed. The Chief of Staff to the NANS president, Tunde Wolimoh, said the brutalised students were later taken to General Hospital,

Adeoyo, in Ibadan, where they were receiving treatment as at the time of filing this report. Wolimoh, therefore, demanded the immediate sack of the IGP and the closure of higher institutions in the country in solidarity with the late students. He said it would not be the first time the police would open fire on innocent citizens of the country, adding that “such excesses can no longer be tolerated in a country that claims to be running democracy.” He said the students would not be intimidated by what it termed police brutality in their resolve to sanitise the nation’s leadership. Wolimoh added that while the association sympathised with the families of the late students, it would make sure that they did not die in vain as “their killers would be made to pay for their sins committed against humanity.” He added the association would liaise with the family to give their colleagues befitting burial while efforts would be made to prosecute the alleged killers.

National Mirror


Friday, June 14, 2013


FG threatens to close revenue agencies’ bank account CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the outstanding remittances to be made otherwise the bank accounts of the agencies will be closed and the agencies and collaborator banks prosecuted. Handing down the deadline yesterday in a statement she signed personally, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said such a flagrant disregard of existing revenue collection laws

and rules was a conspiracy against national interest which would no longer be condoned. According to her, about N58bn of such monies, which should have been remitted to the CRF are still trapped in the revenue agencies’ accounts in some banks even as several attempts by the government to secure the remittance into the Federal Government coffers were rebuffed by the agencies.

Okonjo-Iweala said: “It has come to the attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance that some Federal Government agencies that generate independent revenue, in collusion with some banks, have refused to remit monies to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, of the Federal Government which they are obliged by law to do. “We have identified about N58bn of such monies which rightfully belongs in the CRF.

“This unwholesome practice has persisted despite the efforts of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, OAGF, to encourage the agencies and the affected banks to do the right thing.” “Rather than comply, the agencies and banks, through their lawyers have engaged in all manner of legal subterfuge to ensure that monies which are due to the Federal Government are not remitted,” the min-

Left: Office of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Uyo, damaged by protesting students. Right: The Exams and Records Unit set on fire on Wednesday. PHOTO: NAN

ister added. She explained further that the objective of the conspiracy against the national interest was clear and that is to keep government monies indefinitely in accounts earning interest for individuals at the expense of the Federal Government and the Nigerian people. The minister warned that the behaviour was totally unacceptable, adding that her ministry is determined that this practice must end forthwith. Accordingly, she said that effective Monday, June 17, the OAGF, in exercise of its powers under the extant laws and rules, will close the accounts of agencies involved in this practice in all banks. She noted that the process of systematic closure of the agencies’ accounts in the banks will continue until all monies that should have been remitted into the CRF are retrieved. It would be recalled that the Director-General of the Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, had in a document entitled, ‘FGN 2013 budget: Fiscal

Consolidation with Inclusive Growth,’ made available to the public last April identified non-remittance of collections by the revenue agencies as one of the challenges threatening the implementation of the 2013 budget. Okogu said: “Revenue challenges facing the budget are independent revenue non-full remittance by revenue generating agencies; taxes collection efficiency issues (Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Custom Service); pipeline vandalism and oil theft,” he said “When I say challenges, they are not peculiar to this year’s budget. It is the type of challenges we face and which we are fighting to rectify, and one of them is the revenue side. “The independent revenue, which is the non-full remittance, which we sometimes experience with some of the agencies, we are working hard and the National Assembly has also contributed in this respect to make it clear that all monies that are due to government belongs to the government.”

Five student leaders killed in auto crash CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

dismissed the allegation as baseless and untrue. He told our correspondent that what brought the police to the scene of the accident was to keep the peace because the youths of the area where the accident occurred initially prevented the evacuation of the corpses to the hospital mortuary. Ogbonna stressed that government officials should visit the scene of the accident to see how impassable the road has been for a long time. The youths believe that it was the bad road that caused the accident. But government’s officials said the road is a federal road and that the state has been undertaking palliative measures in maintaining the road over the years. Meanwhile, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command confirmed that a student was killed in Wednesday’s violent protest. The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Umar Gwadabe, confirmed the death of the student in Uyo. Gwadabe said that con-

trary to speculations that three students died, the police confirmed the death of one student. He said that 45 students had been arrested in connection with the protest, stressing that but for the timely intervention of the police; the protest would have engulfed the whole town. “The police are duty bound to stop the protest from escalating from campus into town as the students tried to advance into the city. In this circumstance, the police did not do anything wrong,” he said. National Mirror learnt that the dead student, Kingsley Udoette, is to be buried tomorrow in Ika. Within the university, property worth millions of naira and the entire academic records stored in the Registrar’s Department were lost to the protest. Though no management staff was ready to volunteer comments on the extent of damage, the Chairman of the university branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Anyim Nwachukwu, said: “When there is a problem, there is always room for

what caused it and that is in the realm of subjectivism. “The main issue on ground for now is that there was a crisis on campus and from the information I have received, some lives were lost and there is massive destruction to the university property. “For now, it is difficult to say what are the immediate and remote causes of the crisis since we are yet to receive security report on the matter but, if it was the issue of fees, how is it that offices of my colleagues were broken into and things been stolen. We can’t be definite about the kind of damage that occurred.” When our correspondent visited the campus, it was observed that most of the offices were either completely vandalised or burnt down. Among the offices razed by the irate students include those of the Vice- Chancellor, Prof. Comfort Ekpo; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) and his counterpart in Administration and a female hostel. Others were the office of the Registrar, Mrs. Eduak Umondak; the block hous-

ing Academic Records and the Governing Council Affairs. The block housing the Cash Office, Finance and Accounts, Office of the Director, Computer Services and the portal where online registrations are carried out for students were completely vandalised and computers stolen. Also, over 15 cars belonging to members of staff were smashed and some destroyed beyond repairs. Umondak, who was seen inspecting the destruction of the university property refused to speak to newsmen, but she told some members of staff that she escaped by a whisker. As at the time of filing this report, policemen have taken over the entire university and blocked all major roads leading to the institution while vehicles are diverted to other routes. An eyewitness told National Mirror that one of the three students who died during the riot inhaled teargas. The victim, a lady, was said to be an asthmatic patient. Meanwhile, some lead-

ers of NANS, including its president, Yinka Gbadebo, were intercepted in Ibadan, Oyo State, yesterday by a team of mobile policemen during a protest staged over the alleged killing of their colleagues at the University of Uyo and the death of five others in an auto crash. NANS had mobilised the students of higher institutions in Ibadan yesterday to publicly demand for the removal of the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, over what it called police brutality against Nigerian students, especially the latest alleged killing of two students of UNIUYO, which they said also led to the death of the members of the association’s leadership. In a telephone interview with National Mirror, NANS President had claimed that they were intercepted by mobile joint task force team of the police in Ibadan where many of the students were beaten and tear gassed. The Chief of Staff to the NANS president, Tunde Wolimoh, said the brutalised students were later taken to General Hospital,

Adeoyo, in Ibadan, where they were receiving treatment as at the time of filing this report. Wolimoh, therefore, demanded the immediate sack of the IGP and the closure of higher institutions in the country in solidarity with the late students. He said it would not be the first time the police would open fire on innocent citizens of the country, adding that “such excesses can no longer be tolerated in a country that claims to be running democracy.” He said the students would not be intimidated by what it termed police brutality in their resolve to sanitise the nation’s leadership. Wolimoh added that while the association sympathised with the families of the late students, it would make sure that they did not die in vain as “their killers would be made to pay for their sins committed against humanity.” He added the association would liaise with the family to give their colleagues befitting burial while efforts would be made to prosecute the alleged killers.



Friday, June 14, 2013

FAAC meeting aborted, states at war with FG on allocation TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA


or the second time in five months, the monthly meeting of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, FAAC, was aborted as its Chairman, the Minister of State for Finance, Dr Yerima Ngama, failed to convince the State Commissioners of Finance on an acceptable terms for which the May, 2013 allocations should be based. The development further confirmed that the lingering face-off between the federal and state governments over federally collectable revenues and their distributions, particularly the controversial issue of the Excess Crude Accounts, ECA, may have worsened. With the development, most states with poor Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, capacity may be in for very hard times in terms of fulfilling their funding obligations, especially on personnel and overhead expenditures this month and possibly the next. Speaking to the media at the end of the over four hours bickering over the May 2013 distributions, three and half of which were earlier spent at the

Finance Ministry headquarters, the Chairman of State Finance Commissioners Forum, Timothy Odaah, said the briefing was just “to tell the world the reason for boycotting this month’s FAAC session.” Specifically, he listed the “the non-implementation of the decisions and resolutions taken in most FAAC plenary sessions, especially the May 2013 resolutions, which still remains inconclusive based on the fact that the arrears of February has not been paid.”

Jonathan didn’t order dismissal of police officers –Presidency ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA


he Presidency yesterday said that President Goodluck Jonathan did not order the sack of top police officers, describing the report in a section of the media as untrue and misleading. In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the Presidency said it viewed the highly sensationalised reports as a deliberate at-


he on-going trial of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, over alleged N894 million fraud before a federal high court sitting in Abuja yesterday took a new dimension. A prosecution witness and Director of Finance and Account at the National Assembly, Mr. Bukoye Lasisi, yesterday mounted the witness box to testify that due process was followed in the award of the N894 million supply contract in the House. His evidence contradicted that of the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sanni Omololu, who alleged that the former Speaker, Bankole, led a cabal at the House of Representatives to loot the nation’s treasury through award of fictitious con-

tempt to cause anxiety and disaffection amongst the top hierarchy of the police through the willful misrepresentation of Jonathan’s remarks at the swearing-in of the new chairman and members of the Police Service Commission, PSC. According to Abati, the thrust of the President’s remarks was that the new chairman and members of the PSC should strive to effectively discharge their statutory function of enhancing discipline and efficiency in the service by ensuring that

performance, competence and merit are the primary criteria for career progression in the police. Abati said at no point during the President’s comments at the swearing in ceremony did he order or direct the PSC to sack any police officer. He noted that Jonathan was certainly not giving fresh orders or rewriting the rules when he said: “People who are promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police and above must merit the rank. If you don’t merit the rank, you should be retired from the service.”

Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo (left) and UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief, Mrs. Baroness Valerie Amos, during a courtesy visit to the State House, yesterday.

‘N894m Reps’ contract followed due process’ ISE-OLUWA IGE

National Mirror

tracts to phony companies during his tenure. Omololu had specifically testified that the contracts, for which Bankole was being tried, were approved by a Body of Principal Officers of the House of Representatives, headed by Bankole. He gave other members of the body to include the Deputy Speaker, House Leader, Deputy House Leader, Chief Whip, Deputy Chief Whip, Minority Leader, Minority Whip, Deputy Minority Whip and the Deputy Minority Leader. Lasisi told the court yesterday that contrary to Omololu’s testimony, due process was diligently followed in the award of the contract and that the Clerk of the National Assembly was the person that authorised the payment for the contract for which the former Speaker was being tried.

The director of finance claimed that the Office of the Speaker was too busy to be involved in such issues relating to calling for bids and selection, adding that the tenders’ board did all those things in the award of the contract and strictly followed the due process. The prosecution witness further told the court that the former Speaker did not take part in the placement of advertisement calling for bidding, opening of the bidding, verification of the bidding and selection of the winner and in the other processes that led to the award of the contract. Bankole is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 16-count criminal charge bothering on contract inflation and abuse of office when he was Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“As all police officers and their counterparts in the armed forces and security agencies know, the President’s words were fully in line with existing rules and regulations guiding career progression in the services. “The import of President Jonathan’s comments was that the new PSC and other bodies charged with overseeing the career progression of officers and other personnel in the police and security agencies should work to achieve greater competence levels in the services by upholding extant regulations without fear or discrimination,” Abati said in the statement. He added that the Jonathan administration has granted access to all media organisations that wish to report on its activities and done everything possible to facilitate the performance of their duty of correctly informing the public in keeping with the spirit of democratic governance. “In return, the Presidency expects a much higher standard of professionalism and accuracy than that being exhibited by sections of the media. “Those guilty of deliberately distorting or twisting the President’s words to promote sectional agenda and fan the embers of discord in the polity should desist from doing so,” Abati said.

FG insists on banning smoking in Nigeria MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA


he Federal Government has said it was determined to ban smoking in Nigeria. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said this in Abuja yesterday at the Ministerial Platform where he briefed the media on his two-year leadership of the ministry. He said smokers would look for where they will continue to smoke should the Anti-Tobacco Bill at the National Assembly is passed into law. The minister, who has, in recent weeks, been emphasising on the need to ban public smoking in the country, said the Federal Government could no longer condone smoking as he asked rhetorically: “Why are you smoking? Why are you taking what will kill you? What benefit do you derive from smoking? You may continue

to smoke, but not in this country.” He listed his achievements in the ministry to include the establishment of the National Trauma Centres in the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and the National Hospital, Abuja; the completion of the Federal Staff Hospital, Jabi, Abuja; completion of laboratory and administrative building of the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD, Abuja, and the rehabilitation and equipping of several teaching hospitals in the country. Chukwu noted that President Jonathan doubled the funding of polio eradication activities to N4.7billion and in 2013 made a further commitment of N2.5billion with a Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication constituted to help in the fight against the disease. “Today, in Nigeria, seven of our teaching hospitals can

do kidney transplant. This month, we are expecting the International Certification Team on the Elimination of Guinea Worm in Nigeria,” the minister said. He also informed that there would be a presidential summit on health coverage in the country, soon. In his contribution, Minister of State for Health, Dr Ali Pate, said the ‘Save-OneMillion-Lives’ project recently launched by the President would help save more than the target figure as according to him, the logistics, professionals and infrastructure on ground in the country would help achieve the result. “Maternal mortality dropped by 50 percent between 2009 and 2012,” he said. Pate added that 25 cases of polio were recorded since January this year, which he said was as a result of the security challenges in Yobe and Borno States, where the cases were reported.

National Mirror


Friday, June 14, 2013

Tributes as Fatai Rolling Dollar is buried TERH AGBEDEH


he body of the highlife musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar, was laid to rest at about 1:045pm yesterday in Ikorodu, Lagos State, according to Islamic injunction. The ambulance bearing the body departed his residence at Agege to Ikorodu in a long motorcade, led by Ebony Pall-bearers, which meandered its way through a crowd of youths, singing praises of the octogenarian music star who died on Wednesday. Guarded by a team of police escorts, the body left the residence after a short Islamic service held in his honour, before moving to Ikorodu for the burial. At Maya Junction, the motorcade was ushered in by some bikers in four motorcycles (each carrying three people) which led the way to the late musician’s house, an uncompleted bungalow on 4, Unity

Street, Maya, Ikorodu. After being buried in front of his compound, several Muslim clerics, led by the Chief Imam of Akute Central Mosque, Chief Kamal Olanrewaju Yussuf, took turns to preach the sermon. At his grave side, juju music maestro, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, praised the deceased and urged Nigerian youths to emulate his peaceful ideology. Obey said: “Baba Rolling Dollar was a very hardworking man, very peaceful and friendly, if the youths can emulate his peaceful ideology, it will be better for all”. He also prayed for his children and advised the family to make themselves “indivisible” in this trying moment. National Mirror noticed a mild drama unfolding when Evangelist Obey was about leaving, as hoodlums popularly called “Area Boys” from different zones (Isale Eko, Ikorodu and

Maya) were trying to lay claim to the ownership of the event. A timely intervention of Evangelist Obey, however, saved the situation from slipping out of control. Some of the personalities who attended the event include: Stella Monye, Y.K Ajao, and the chairman of Ifako Ijaiye LCDA, Oloruntoba Oke. Fatai Rolling Dollar, who died as a result of lung cancer, took ill during his last trip to the United States, where he was forced to cancel some shows that would have taken him to six American cities. On returning to Nigeria, he was hospitalised at the Ahmadiyya Hospital in Agbado, before being moved to another hospital in Surulere. Meanwhile, tributes have continues to pour in for the late musician. Senate President, David Mark described him as a jolly good fellow who did not only entertained but

Edo inferno perpetrated to frustrate probe of N320m fraud –PDP SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has attributed Wednesday’s inferno at the Edo State Ministry of Education complex at Iyaro in Benin to the N320 million allegedly stolen by some public officials. The fraud led to the sacking of Mr. Ekpenisi Omorotionmwan as the Higher, Tertiary and Technical Education Commissioner and dissolution of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) in May. The PDP yesterday described the burning of the ministry as a deliberate plot to frustrate the investigation of those responsible for the fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It will be recalled that Governor Adams Oshiomhole visited the ministry

shortly after it got burnt and promised to set up a panel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the early morning inferno that completely razed the records section even when there was no electricity supply to Iyaro area at the time. Oshiomhole, who had earlier claimed that no money was missing or stolen, said: “It seems to me that there might be a case of arson. Somebody must have chosen for one reason or the other to destroy some documents for whatever purpose, which we don’t readily know. “If there was no light at the material time, then the question of possible electrical fault does not arise and it is possible that somebody had planted something, maybe to burn the place to destroy some evidence or something. I think the thing to do is to set an enquiry to

establish what went wrong, at least to prevent recurrence and to find out those who might be behind the dastardly act. It is very unfortunate.” But in a statement signed by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr Matthew Urhoghide, the party wondered why the records section suddenly got burnt after the visitation of an undisclosed number of EFCC officials to Benin following its petition on the alleged fund disappearance. The party spokesman, who did not also rule out an act of sabotage especially as there was no power supply or surge before the incident, said: “The ministry and the fire that gutted the offices housing the certificates and financial transactions were burnt by the mystery fire. It is a ploy to hide the details of what happened as regard the petition with a caution that there is more to it that meets the eye.”

in Wuse, Abuja, where he had gone for some transactions. It was revealed by his colleagues that Sulaiman, who used to commute between Keffi in Nasarawa State and his office in Jabi in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) daily, reported to office yesterday at about 8:30am.

On getting to office, he went to the First Bank branch at Wuse for some transactions, but collapsed just before he entered the bank’s premises. He was reported to have died instantly. His body was taken to Keffi for burial, according to Islamic rite.

Daily Trust Managing Editor, Muhammad, passes on


he Managing Editor of Media Trust Limited, the publisher of Daily Trust newspaper titles, Malam Sulaiman Ibn Muhammad, is dead. Sulaiman, a hardworking and brilliant administrator, died yesterday morning in the premises of First Bank Nigeria Plc

brought joy to Nigerian homes and families. He paid glowing tribute to Pa Fatai for his mastery, dexterity and sense of humour while plying his trade, even till his last days. For Goethe-Institut Nigeria’s Director, MarcAndre Schmachtel, whose very official duty in the country was the concert for the reopening of the institute’s office on the Lagos Island featuring the late musician, Fatai Rolling Dollar he said the late musician was a very interesting person. “He has been performing at a lot of concerts organised by Goethe-Institut Nigeria so I had a very special relationship with him that is why I am very sad that he passed away yesterday,” he said. Veteran reggae musician, Ras Kimono, rather preferred to give thanks for all the achievements Fatai Rolling Dollar put under his belt before and after his phenomenal comeback.

EFCC arraigns pension officer over N62m scam ISE-OLUWA IGE


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arraigned a former staff of Pensions Account in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mohammed Ahmed Katun, before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for allegedly obtaining money by false pretence, intent to commit fraud and diverting pension funds worth N62 million. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him. Upon the plea of the accused, his counsel, Nicholas Eku, prayed the court to admit the accused to bail. The prosecution counsel, Emmanuel Egwuagu, did not oppose the bail application, but asked the court to grant the accused bail on terms that it would ensure his appearance in court. The trial judge, Justice


A.R Mohammed, consequently admitted him to bail in the sum of N10 million with two sureties in like sum. The judge, however, said that the accused must not be allowed to breathe air of temporary freedom until the two sureties provided are certified satisfactory by the court registrar. Justice Mohammed ordered that one of the sureties must be a federal civil servant not below Grade Level 10, while the other must have landed properties in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) or its area councils. Besides, the court said the title documents of the property, as well as the accused international passport are to be deposited with the court. The accused is also not to travel outside the country without the permission of the court. The case was adjourned to September 25, 2013 for trial.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Lagos to carry out safety audit of roads MURITALA AYINLA


agos State Government said yesterday that it would carry out safety audit of all roads in the state through new high-tech software. This is as Governor Babatunde Fashola said the state had so far enlisted 21,893 students as agents of climate change. The government said it had spent over N1 billion to organise training for the civil servants and other traffic managers by foreign experts to address the increasing traffic gridlock in the Lagos metropolis. The Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, made the disclosure at the closing ceremony of a sevenday training tagged: “A Workshop on Rescue and Incidence Management, Traffic Signalisation and Synchronisation, Road Safety Audit and Hi-tech Traffic Management Systems for Professionals in the Lagos State Public Service.” Opeifa said the growing population of the state required constant review and development strategies that would enable the state achieve its goal of “road safety city”. But Fashola, who spoke at a programme organised by the government to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Climate Change Club held at the Police College Ground, Ikeja, said the club was leading the advocacy against human activities that contributed to global warming. The governor explained that the 21,893 students spread across the 654 private and 2,116 public primary and secondary schools in the state. Urging young people to embrace efforts such as tree planting, energy

•Enlists 21,893 children as climate change agents

conservation and other practices that could help mitigate the impact of climate change, Fashola asked them to influence their parents and other adults to adopt environ-

ment friendly practices. He said: “We now know better that children who are aware and involved in the knowledge gathering, and sharing of the issues of climate change, can be effective agents of

change. “The effectiveness of young people as change agents cannot be underestimated. Their energy, inquisitiveness and enthusiasm are critical to the fight against climate change.”


Fatai Rolling Dollar’s remains being prepared for burial at his house in Maya, Ikorodu, Lagos.



he administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun yesterday launched a sticker to unify the collection of all levies in the haulage industry in every part of

We’ll end suspects’ prolonged detention –Ekiti ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI


kiti State Government has promised to strengthen the administration of justice to eliminate extra-judicial activities in the state. The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapohunda (SAN), who made the pledge, frowned at prolonged delay of suspects without trial, adding that machinery had been set in motion to redress the perceived lopsidedness in the administration of justice. Fapohunda, who spoke during a reception in his honour by The Likes Club at Okemesi-Ekiti, his country home, said Governor Kayode Fayemi’s administration was working round the clock to protect the rights of people. He said: “You are entitled to your own rights and deemed to be innocent of any charge preferred against you until the court rules otherwise. So, detention for several months without being charged to court is extra-

judicial. “We have seen a situation whereby a suspect was alleged to have stolen a cock or goat and was detained for several months without being charged. This is not the best way to protect the rights of the Nigerian citizens.” Fapohunda, who was appointed commissioner by Fayemi in February, appealed to Oke-Imesi indigenes, particularly the youth, to always strive hard and protect the culture of hard work and integrity, characteristic of the community. The commissioner warned them against being used as destabilising agents by politicians. He said: “This town belongs to all of us and I believe we owe it a duty to develop it than to be fighting over partisan issues.” Earlier, the Mayor of the club, Mr. Lucas Akinwale, had expressed confidence in Fapohunda’s ability to discharge his duties with utmost dignity and respect, praising Fayemi for appointing an indigene of the town into a position they held last in 1976.

Ladoja’s presence at Adedibu’s remembrance, a mockery –ACN KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN L-R: The widow, Mrs Zainab Olagunju; her sisiter, Mrs Lanre Lawanson, two of his children, Jamiu and Mojeed.

L-R: One of his children, Sunday Olagunju; Olorogun of Agege Kingdom, Chief Sakirudeen Olaku PHOTOS: DEMOLA AKINLABI and Evangelist Ebenezer Obey at the burial.

Ogun launches haulage sticker, targets additional N250m monthly FEMI OYEWESO

National Mirror

Ogun State. With the instrumentality of the haulage sticker launched in Abeokuta, the state capital, the government said it would able to save an estimated N250 million monthly as well as block leakages in its Internally Generated

Revenue, IGR, which over the years had been lost to fake revenue collectors. Speaking with journalists after a meeting with stakeholders in the haulage industry, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Otunba

Bimbo Ashiru, said the introduction of the haulage sticker came as a response of the administration to the requests of the haulage and truck owners who recently accused the government of burdening them with multiple taxation.


he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has said the presence of former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, at the fifth remembrance anniversary of Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu was to mock the memory of the strongman of Ibadan politics. The party said this in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday by its state Publicity Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kolawole. Ladoja had visited the late Adedibu’s house in Molete, Ibadan on Wednesday during the fidau ceremony organised for the repose of the soul of the late politician. “We cannot understand why Ladoja would choose to mock the memory of the late Adedibu by being present at the event. Wherever Baba Adedibu was as Ladoja visited his Molete empire, he would be seething with anger. Here was the same man who contributed to the early death of the strongman by making life very uncomfort-

able and unbearable for him while alive,” Kolawole said. The state ACN spokesman also said that the drama that took place at the venue of the remembrance was a confirmation of the former governor’s disrespect for the late strongman while alive, adding that this disposition was un-African as respect for the dead was a key index of African belief. He said: “Whatever Adedibu did wrong against Ladoja, he ought to have forgiven him. We understand how, as governor, Ladoja made life unbearable for the late strongman of PDP. “We also remember how he attempted to tango thug for thug with the late Adedibu during his impeachment saga. “But Adedibu is dead now and all those should have been a thing of the past. That mockery of an appearance he made at Molete on Wednesday is condemnable and is a bad way to allow an anger that will not just go to fester in the mind of someone who still nurses a grouse against his dead fellow man.”

National Mirror

South West

Friday, June 14, 2013


NAMA, AIB dismiss rumour of plane crash in Lagos OLUSEGUN KOIKI


uthorities in the nation’s aviation industry yesterday denied the rumour that there was another plane crash in Lagos, the

nation’s commercial hub. The sight of an aircraft in the Igando area of the state has caused panic and fear of another plane crash among residents of the area. Indeed, there was tension among the people

as rumour started flying around as early as 6.00am when some people insisted that they saw a small jet nosedived into the ground and causing a crater. Some even claimed that the alleged plane

OPD recovers N92.8m claims for clients in 16 months •As Lagos AG vows to punish corrupt govt lawyers



he Office of the Public Defender, OPD, of the Lagos State government has recovered about N92.8 million as compensatory damages for its clients in the last 16 months. Investigation conducted on OPD’s activities in recent times showed that the office raked in N92, 825,746.46 for its clients in various parts of the state. National Mirror learnt that 4, 349 petitions were received by the office during the period. Out of this figure, 2, 425 petitions were successfully resolved and concluded. It was also gathered that in all, no fewer than 1,767 petitions have either been resolved or are about to be concluded by the OPD. A breakdown of this figure revealed that 1, 485 cases were criminal matters while the civil cases numbered 227. Besides, it was gathered that a total of 337 cases have been concluded while 1, 425 others were listed as on-going cases.

National Mirror investigation furthered showed that 265 cases were handled by the state High Court, 734 cases were prosecuted in the Magistrate’s court while 640 cases were determined by the Kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, court otherwise known as mobile court. Moreover, 64 cases were handled by the OPD in the naval court, 47 cases were determined by the National Industrial Court, NIC, and 12 other cases in the family court while the remaining eight cases were heard in customary court. This brings to 1,767 the total number of cases determined by the various courts in the state. Contacted on the allegation of corruption among some of the OPD lawyers who allegedly seek to extort their clients, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, denied knowledge of such accusation against the law officers. He, however, assured that whenever his office received such complaints,

adequate investigation would be made with a view to punishing the errant lawyers in the system. Ipaye further explained that besides getting some lawyers gainfully employed by the OPD, the office also retains some lawyers outside the system as project officers, in a bid to bring legal services to the people. Meanwhile, the Citizens Mediation Centre, CMC, of the state government has facilitated the recovery of about N446.4 million for its clients in the last one year. It was gathered that the CMC also handled about 30, 686 cases between May 2012 and March this year. The CMC was established by the state government to promote the use and practice of mediation as an alternative to litigation in conflict resolution among the people of the state. By the CMC Law 2007, the centre is an autonomous institution, whose primary objective is to provide free legal services to the indigent, in line with the state government’s policy on improving access to justice.

with the American registration number: N972TF belonged to Bethel Ministries and had seven passengers and crew members onboard as at the time it crashed. National Mirror made frantic efforts to get across to the respective agencies in the Nigerian aviation industry; they however denied the knowledge of such crash. Spokesman for Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, in his response said nothing of such happened. However, reacting on the rumour, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, said the agency was inundated with phone calls and enquiries over a crash involving a small aircraft, but he dismissed the rumour. Udoh said the NAMA system did not capture any missing plane, maintaining that the aircraft

in question was actually a junk one belonging to late Apostle Gabriel Oduyemi of Bethel Ministries and had long been parked at a NAMA facility up till Wednesday night when it was eventually removed. Udoh, in the statement, said the jet was released to one Capt. M. J. Ekehinde, who will be using it for educational purposes in Badagry, Lagos. He added; “A cross section of the wings was removed to ease transportation to its new location. I affirm again that NAMA facilities are working at optimal level and this could have assisted in detecting any missing plane within the nation’s airspace. “While we appreciate the concern of the public on sighting the plane at an unusual site, we urge that people should always contact the police and local government officials for proper infor-

Saturday Starter

Royalty in disarray •Hoodlums defecate in Oba’s palace after beating him •Oba, seven others remanded in Kirikiri for alleged murder •Oba rapes corps member …

Dabiri gives free eye treatment to 600 people

docked, released on bail •Police arrest


•Monarch on the run as police declare


s part of her commitment to better the lives of the people in Ikorodu Federal Constituency and provide for the needy, Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has put smiles on the faces of her constituents as over 600 have benefitted from a free eye care treatment sponsored by her. This gesture from Dabiri-Erewa, who is representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, was in collaboration with Global Alliance Eye Foundation Center, a non-governmental organisation for residents of

Ikorodu community in Lagos State. The two-day eye treatment which kicked off yesterday comprised of free community eye screening, school eye screening, free distribution of glasses, free medication and free eye surgeries, where necessary for over 600 Ikorodu residents. Speaking with journalists later, Dabiri-Erewa said the programme was to help people with eye impairment and to prevent blindness among the people. She noted that many adults and children suffer from preventable eye defects and could not afford treatment and surgeries due to poverty. Her words: “This initiative is to provide succour for those suffering from

glaucoma, cataract and other sight defects that have for long caused hardship to many of our people. With all these arrangements put in place, not only would we be preventing blindness among our people, but we shall also eradicate all forms of poverty-induced blindness.” According to her, about 500 persons were targeted for the programme, but when over 600 persons reported for screening the first day, there was no alternative than to accommodate others coming. “Out of the over 600 screened today, some would get free eye glasses, others medication while those with severe cases would go for surgery as would be determined by the doctors here.”

mation before spreading news on incident involving any aircraft.” At the Igando site, where the plane was moved to, our correspondent observed that it was parked at a petrol filling station, Dapsey Oil around Olowonla-Iba Road, Igando in Ikotun area of the metropolis. As at the time of filing this report, the aircraft was still carefully parked at the filling station with heavy police presence, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and other paramilitary agencies. No one could confirm how the plane that was meant to be transported to Badagry got to the filling station, but it was observed that the aircraft was intact except for its wings, which were removed and tied together, while two of its tyres were flat. Also, there was a mammoth crowd that gathered around the scene, but was away from the jet.

monarch’s son, for kidnapping, robbery him wanted for kidnapping •Oba beaten to stupor, stripped naked •Monarch docked for fraud ...The list of shame is endless. What’s happening to our royal institutions?

My big dream

Mo Abudu


Style is Entervaganza a whole BBA THE CHASE expre p expression of •Three new faces join the chase! oneself •Beverly’s scandalous

Deola Sagoe x SeTalk

TTop 10 sex myths

confessions •Maria’s Angelo dilemma •Natasha, Biguesa for eviction again This column is x-rated


South East

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Group threatens to disrupt Anambra governorship poll CHARLES OKEKE AWKA


t is not sure that the Anambra State governorship election will be conducted next year, as a group is planning to disrupt the poll. The group, the Move-

ment for the Conduct of Local Government Election in Anambra State, has threatened to disrupt the election if the much awaited council poll was conducted by Governor Peter Obi. Addressing journalists yesterday after a meet-

ing with the governor in Awka, its chairman, Mr. Osita Obi, said the group would embark on various measures, including legal action and civil disobedience to frustrate the conduct of the governorship election. The chairman said.

“If the council election is not conducted, our group, whose members are drawn from chairman and councillorship aspirants from the 21 local government areas, will frustrate the governorship poll. “We have prevailed on Governor Obi to conduct

L-R: Ebonyi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sunday Nwangele; his Niger State counterpart, Dr. Ibrahim Sule and Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof. John Idoko, at a one day technical meeting on the President’s Emergency Response Plan for HIV/AIDS held in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Okorocha to send illiterate traditional rulers to school CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI


overnor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has said that all the illiterate traditional rulers in the state would be given the opportunity to go to school to enhance their ability to deliver robust service to their people through the Community Government Council (CGC). Okorocha spoke while addressing the traditional rulers and other stakeholders at Ahiajoku Convention Centre in Owerri, the state

capital. According to the governor, a programme would be introduced next year in tertiary institutions to assist illiterate traditional rulers to acquire basic knowledge in governance. He said: “Africa and Nigeria in particular can only develop more if the community government council becomes stronger than the local government; local government stronger than the state government and state stronger than the Federal Government.” While attributing Nige-

ria’s underdevelopment to overbearing influence of the Federal Government, Okorocha called for the introduction of the CGC in all the 36 states of the federation to facilitate effective service delivery to the people. The governor, who stressed that his major achievement was the introduction of the CGC, said it was his wish to develop all the communities in the state like Owerri. He said that the introduction of the CGC has nothing to do with politics and

should not be politicized. Okorocha also assured all the communities with Ezeship tussle that his administration would resolve the issue in the next two months, asking the CGC executives to always work harmoniously among one another for effective service delivery. He, however, said the Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri, was included in the government’s protocol because of his (Ohiri’s) position as the CGC leader.

Ndigbo hardest hit by June 12 violence –Group NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA


group, Ndigbo United Assembly (NUA), has said that Ndigbo were the most casualties of the violence that trailed the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election believed to have been won by the late businessman, Chief M.K.O Abiola. NUA called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts towards compensating Ndigbo in various ways such as dredging of River Niger, building of the second Niger Bridge and possibly conceding the Presidency to the South-East in 2015. Commenting on the June

12 saga shortly after its meeting held yesterday in Onitsha, NUA President-General, Sir Peter Okala, said immediately the 1993 presidential election was annulled by the military President Ibrahim Babangida, Ndigbo were slaughtered in various cities of the South-West. Okala said: “NUA, the only mouthpiece of Ndigbo genuinely fighting for the liberation and against the marginalization of the South-East, is aptly taking another look at the June 12 saga, from the perspective that our brothers and sisters were massacred in some parts of the country shortly after the annulment. “Each time such thing

erupted in the country, Ndigbo are always at the receiving end. To some extent, I can authoritatively say that the June 12 was made against Ndigbo because history has been kind to us. It was during the election presided over by an Igbo man, Prof. Humphrey Nwosu, that Nigeria ever had free and fair election. However, it was annulled by anti-Igbo elements and our brothers in the West, out of anger descended on Ndigbo and in the process, Igbos lost their lives and investments and property.” Okala, however, called for the removal of the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, for alleged fraud in the ongoing

dredging of lower River Niger and the commencement of activities at the Onitsha River Port many months after President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned it. He challenged South-East governors to account for the ecological funds they have collected from the Ecological Office with a view to tackling ecological disasters in many parts of the region. Okala said: “We are calling for the sack of the Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, for his failure to tell Ndigbo the truth concerning the dredging of River Niger because we have monitored the contract execution and found out that it was all sham.”

the election and failed. Now, we will approach the struggle politically, we will go to the streets and fight for the conduct of the local government election. We will go to the court to get an injunction to stop the governorship election.” He, however, urged the governor to meet with the state Independent Electoral Commission and ensure that the time table for the council election is released soonest. The group chairman said: “We have about 20,000 members whose rights are being infringed upon by the state government’s refusal to conduct the council poll. For the past 13 years, council election has not been conducted in Anambra State. “We we petitioned the Presidency, the Senate and Chairman of the Inde-

pendent Nation Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, on the issue.” A member of the group and Anaocha Local Government Area chairmanship aspirant, Mr. Mike Onwudinjo, however, told National Mirror that he is optimistic that the council election would be conducted soonest due to what the governor told them. Governor Obi told journalists shortly after his meeting with the group that he was concerned that the election had not been conducted, blaming the development on spate of litigations initiated by some individuals against the government’s plan to conduct it. He, however, promised that his administration would conduct and credible and hitch-free local government election.

No budgetary allocation for teachers’ promotion benefits –Abia official GEORGE OPARA ABIA


he Umunneochi Local Government Area Education Secretary in Abia State, Olima Cletus Chukwuma, has said that the government did not make budgetary provision for promotion and other allowances of teachers in its annual budget. Chukwuma claimed that the teachers were being paid their promotion benefits and other allowances with attrition funds. The education secretary spoke yesterday in court during a cross examination by the judicial commission of inquiry set up to look into the administration and finances of the Abia State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB) from 1999 to 2012. Asked why staff promotion benefits and other allowances are usually not paid as at when due, Chukwuma said: “It is because of lack of fund, as fund is provided we pay. The government does not provide money for promotion benefits and other allowances at the local government education areas. “Attrition fund are the stopped salaries of retir-

ees and dead members of staff captured in the payment vouchers without knowing their time of retirements and death. It is Chief Micah Onyebuchi, ASUBEB Executive Chairman, who authorises the use of such monies. And it is the accumulation of such fund that we use to pay staff promotion benefits and other allowances local government by local government.” Also asked if pay rolls were not prepared with such entitlements, he said salary was prepared separately from promotion benefits and allowances, but added that the emolument documents were submitted to state Joint Account Allocation committee (JAAC) through ASUBEB for approvals. However, investigations showed that the arrears of teachers’ promotion benefits and other allowances in the state were paid last in 2010.


National Mirror

South South

Friday, June 14, 2013


We’ll mobilise people against our detractors –Amaechi SAM OLUWALANA PORT HARCOURT


ivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has said that his administration will mobilise the people of the state against his detractors through the delivery of the dividends of democracy to the citizenry He also called on Nigerians to ensure that their votes count in the 2015 general elections. Governor Amaechi, who

spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, the state capital, during the maiden edition of the Rivers State Council on Information, organised by the state Ministry of Information and Communications, with the theme; “Public Information Management as a tool for Good Governance,” said the only weapon his administration will use to chase away detractors from the state is the people, adding that the only tool to be used in mobilising the people is to

deliver the dividends of democracy to the masses. The governor also urged Nigerians to ensure that the 2015 general election in the country is transparent, free and fair. He denied allegations that his administration has abandoned many projects and has also not embark on any meaningful project since his second term. On the 2015 elections, The governor said with a transparent election, leaders would discharge their

responsibilities, adding that the people will have no other choice than to kick out leaders found wanting in the discharge of their duties. He said: “Election must be transparent, if we demand for transparent electioneering process, where votes count, leaders will discharge their responsibilities. But, if you don’t allow your votes to count, leaders will continue to play with your intelligence. When you hear of citizens’ rights, nobody will give you your

right, you will claim it.” Amaechi said his administration has completed more projects in his second term than he did in his first term contrary to what his opponents are insinuating. He reeled out the achievements of his administration in its second coming; “In our second term, we completed the G. U. Ake Road and by September this year, we will be commission 250 primary schools in 250 communities. “Also by September, we

will be completing six ultramodern secondary schools. In our first tenure, we completed only one, but just two years into our second tenure, we are completing six. “By September again, we will have a new conference centre; the cultural centre is nearing completion and we also have a brand new School of Nursing coming. “I am happy that by December, we would have moved the students from the old School of Nursing to the new one,” he promised.

Benson Idahosa University to build cancer centre SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN


enson Idahosa University, BIU, Benin City, Edo State, yesterday said it is set to build a cancer diagnostic and research centre in the university. Acting Vice-Chancellor of BIU, Dr. Earnest Izevbigie, disclosed this in an interview with National Mirror. He said the centre could be established as early as the next academic year. Izevbigie said: “At the university level, we have interest to launch CADRE, which means Cancer Diagnostics, Research and Education. We have three arms to CADRE when it is fully functional. “We have the research component, where we will file new candidates or new natural products that can be used in the treatment of cancer and diabetics with a focus on cancer. “We also have the education and community outreach component, by which we can educate the public on the risks and prevention methods of cancer; then, we will also have diagnostics where people can come and do mammogram, do screening and so on and so forth. This is our future plan.” “We are presently working on the facilities that will be used. We’ve already done the architectural and structural drawings of the centre. Now, we are trying to put funds together. “In the next academic year, we should launch it but I don’t know when it will be functional. The launching is that you start it, but it is difficult to say when it is going to be finished; that depends on the availability funds. But I

will like to believe that in a year from now, all these could be done.” On why BIU was very interested in the establishment of a cancer research centre, Izevbigie said; “Cancer is more devastating than diabetics. Cancer kills more people than HIV, diabetics and tuberculosis combined. Cancer kills more people than the combination of all these.” However, in a word of hope to sufferers of cancer and diabetics, Izevbigie said the drug that he discovered in the United States, Edotide, offers a great hope for survival through proper management that the centre would avail them.

L-R: Members, Board of Directors, Nigeria Ports Authority, Alhaji Aminu Danagundi; Mohammed Abana; Senator Florence ItaGiwa, being conducted round by the Communications Manager, Brawal Oil Services Limited, Dr. Christopher Odili, during their formalisation visit to Onne, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Bayelsa students to get N30, 000 bursary each EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA


ayelsa State government yesterday said it has concluded arrangements to pay bursary allowance to 30, 000 qualified students of the state origin schooling in over 185 tertiary institutions across the country. State Commissioner of Education, Salo Adikumo, disclosed this in Yenagoa, at a meeting with some students’ union leaders and officials of the state scholarship board. He said payment of the much awaited bursary would commence in July in some approved banks while the biometric capturing of the students would take-off this month. “There is no data base of Bayelsa State origins in tertiary institutions to enable the board effect the payment. The problems of payment have been lingering for years. The 2012/13 bursary would be settled through epayment,” he said.

Adikumo said the bursary per student has been increased from N15, 000 to N30, 000 while that of students in the Nigerian Law School is now N250, 000 each. However, the commissioner did not reveal the amount the bursary would cost the state, saying that government was initiating strategies on how to eliminate ‘ghost’ names in the payment list. According to him, the state scholarship board had resolved to capture the academic and biometric data of all the students in the nation’s tertiary institutions to ensure the eliminate waste in the system. The commissioner said the board had contacted all the tertiary institutions to furnish the state with the list of students of the state’s origin for smooth operation. The commissioner promised that the state government was not going to play politics with education and the payment of bursary to students in the state.

Court to rule on right to investigate alleged assassination plot SAM OLUWALANA PORT HARCOURT


Port Harcourt high court yesterday fixed July 29, 2013, for ruling on whether the Nigeria Police have the constitutional right to cause the investigation of a rumoured assassination plot against the Rivers State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the Speaker, state House of Assembly, Hon. Otelemaba Dan-Amachree. The presiding judge, Justice Adolphus Enebeli, adjourned till July 29, after listening to submissions by the two opposing counsel in the matter, over the basis of investigation by the police. Counsel to the Speaker, Emenike Ebete, in his submission, told the court that the allegation leveled against his client was biased and frivolous, arguing that there was no prima facie evidence before the

court to warrant a police invitation to his client on the issue. Emenike said the open letter to the Presidency on the assassination plot allegedly written by the Assembly’s Speaker did not emanate from his client, and that he was not its author. He, however, urged the court to restrain the respondents from infringing on the fundamental human rights of his client. Responding, counsel to the respondents’ – the Inspector-General of Police; AIG Zone 6, Calabar; Rivers State Commissioner of Justice and others - Donald Deewigwe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, argued that there was no way the police would not investigate the matter. He said the applicant must appear to defend the allegation, because the entire onus lies on him. Deewigwe said stopping the police from investigat-

ing a crime-related offence would endanger the lives of the citizen and increase problems in the society. He also said that the police could not be compelled to reveal the source of their information in any given matter, arguing further that no individual was beyond being investigated. The lawyer said the allegation against the police being sponsored by some individuals in the crisis should equally be proven. In an interactive session with journalists after the hearing, counsel to the applicant, Mr. Ebete, said his client is not liable to any of the charges, because the respondents did not have prima facie evidence, describing the charge as frivolous and unfounded. He said the court should act on the facts before it and restrain the respondents from further “inviting, interrogating, arresting or prosecuting him over a curious allegation.”



Friday, June 14, 2013

Ribadu to Nigerians: Resist attempts to manipulate 2015 poll A ZA MSUE KADUNA


ormer Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has reiterated his call on Nigerians, especially the youth, to resist attempts by selfish people to manipulate the 2015 general elections. In a paper entitled: “The role of a legislator in democ-

racy” delivered yesterday at a seminar organised by the Center for Development and Rights Advocacy (CEDRA) in Kaduna, Ribadu said without the media and civil society, democracy would become dictatorial. Ribadu, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) presidential candidate in the 2011 election, had called on Nigerians last Saturday at a public lecture entitled: “Political engagement: A new

approach” organised by Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of the Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, to change the nation’s bad leadership in the 2015 election. The former EFCC asked the people not to be weary, stressing that the greatest disservice Nigerians would do to the country and democracy is to keep silent. The presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, flayed Ribadu’s comment,

describing the former EFCC boss as a hypocrite for daring to say that Nigeria in sinking. But speaking yesterday at the seminar, Ribadu said: “Let me also use this opportunity to once again call on our youths to remain focused and steadfast in the course of our nationhood. They should resist attempts by any selfish person to manipulate or set them off against one another.”

National Mirror

Amaechi’s desperate ambition polarises NGF –Suswam rum prior to the crisis, unani-



overnor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has insisted that his Plateau State counterpart, Jonah Jang, won the recent the Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF) election conducted in Abuja. He said the crisis that trailed the election stemmed from Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi’s desperation to seek re-election. Suswam, however, described the crisis polarising the NGF as unfortunate. Answering questions from journalists yesterday at the Government House in Makurdi, Suswam said: “It was out of desperation to do two terms that made Governor Amaechi to print ballot papers and voting materials. He could not even dissolve himself and the executive and he went on to conduct the so called election in which he claimed to have been re-elected. “For the sake of record, the Nigerian Governor’s Fo-

mously agreed that there should be rotational chairmanship in which the South will serve two years tenure while it will consequently rotate to the North for another two years. The association is a voluntary organisation and one may decide to dismember himself from it.” He, however, said that the forum had no constitution until members thought it wise and constituted a committee headed by Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State to draft the constitution. Susmam said: “It was 18 of us who had earlier endorsed Governor Jang and asked him to lead the forum and this has been the usual manner the chairman of the forum has always been appointed by consensus. “As far as the majority of the members of the forum are concerned, Governor Amaechi is not even an issue.” Suswam also blamed the polarisation of the Northern Governors Forum on the fall out of the NGF election.

Fulani herdsmen kill two in Benue during a fracas. District Head of Malumfashi and former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir (rtd), presenting a trophy to the representative of Government Girls Secondary School, Malumfashi, winners of the Secondary School debate competition in Malumfashi, Katsina State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

No solution to nation’s woes without National Conference –Tofa be acceptable to all to discuss how this country should be administered; a National Conference is the only way out of the country’s growing conflict. “I have always canvassed the convocation of a National Conference and in my opinion we cannot avoid it because we, as Nigerians, have to sit down and discuss how we want this country run, if we have to avoid this constant bickering and make progress. “I don’t think living under pretence will take us anywhere, we all know the country is drifting and we still continue to pretend that all

is well when all is bad, so we have to sit down as a people and as representatives of the people to discuss the future of this country and come out with a position that will be binding to all”. Although the elder statesman foresees the tendency for conflict in such exercise owing to the presence of the National Assembly, he noted that the issue had to be trashed out with the lawmakers, who may also be involved in the project. He, however, flayed corruption among Nigeria’s public officials, noting that the menace is fast becoming endemic.

residential candidate on the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), Alhaji Bashir Tofa, has stressed the need to convoke a National Conference as a major step to address the nation’s challenges. Speaking in an interview with National Mirror yesterday in Kano, Alhaji Tofa said that the convocation of the conference to discuss the Nigerian project is inevitable, pointing out that the survival of the country as an entity would depend on the outcome of such conference.

He, however, traced the country’s political and socioeconomic problem to the disagreement among the ethnic nationalities. The All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) chieftain said: “Nigeria’s socio-political challenges are traceable to the disagreement among the ethnic nationalities because we do not have bidding agreement among us on how our country should be governed and how we should also co-habit as a people. “It is time for the country’s ethnic and political leaders to come together under an arrangement that will


Court rejects Katsina AG’s application to take over suit





n application filled by the Katsina State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice requesting to take over a suit between a former lawmaker and another individual has been rejected by an Upper Shari’a Court II. The case between Senator Kanti Bello and one Bala Mamman Ingawa had

dragged on for months before the attorney-general filled his application. His counsel, Mr. Abubakar Umar, said that Section 211 of the 1999 Constitution gave the attorney-general right to take over the case. Umar said under the section, his client has the right to sue the accused person and take over the case as well

as withdraw the suit where applicable. The presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Bala, said while the court concurred to the right given the attorney-general by the constitution, it would not grant his request as the application did not follow due process. The judge said that under Islamic procedure, such would never be accepted

considered the Islamic Book entitled: “Jagorar masu Hukunci”. He struck out the application, adding that any party not comfortable with the judgement was at liberty to appeal. Justice Bala, therefore, adjourned the suit till June 26, 2013. But Umur said his client would appeal the judgement.



wo people were killed yesterday while one other was injured by some suspected Fulani herdsmen at the borders of Benue and Nasarawa states. The Benue State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ezeala, told National Mirror that the herdsmen killed the victims

The incident has, however, caused panic among residents as many of them fled their homes. The police spokesman said the bodies of the victims had been deposited at an undisclosed morgue and urged the people not panic. He also asked the fleeing residents to return home, assuring that security agents are on top of the situation.

Perseverance, patience behind my success –Bayero AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO


he Emir of Kano, Alhaji Dr. Ado Abdullahi Bayero, yesterday attributed the success of his emirate in the last 50 years to perseverance, patience and faith in God. He told journalists in Kano that he had not been rattled by any challenge in his 50 years on the throne. Alhaji Bayero, however, said that he only regretted that two Heads of State - Gen. Murtala Mohammed and Gen. Sani Abacha -, who both haled from Kano, died during his reign. The monarch said: “Nothing has ever hurt me in my 50 years on the throne. Any problem that befalls human

being should be counted as an act of God. “When I was crowned as the Emir of Kano in June 1963, I received the honour with mixed feelings. I was happy, and then I was not happy. “In any case, I took it as a call to serve my people. I was not happy because then, I had elder brothers, elderly uncles who could have done it better, but the mantle of leadership fell on me and I had no choice than to accept the responsibility.” The emir also spoke on the need to assign constitutional roles to traditional rulers in the country, saying: “If the government decides to assign constitutional roles to traditional rulers, it is acceptable to me, and if they decide otherwise, it also acceptable.”

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror



2015: Between Jonathan’s endorsement and political jobbers

I was at the receiving ends in politics –Fayemi



Tukur not competent to lead PDP –Wamakko You are free to leave, party chair



overnor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State has called for the immediate sack of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, before he succeeds in destroying the ruling party. The governor, who spoke publicly for the first time on Wednesday night since his suspension by the party’s National Working Committee, NWC, described Tukur as an incompetent leader. He spoke in Sokoto while addressing his supporters shortly on arrival from a two- week trip to the Netherlands where he attended an economic summit with his counterparts from other states. He was flanked by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal. Wamakko told the supporters who thronged the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport and Government House, Sokoto that he and other like- minded governors as well as other democrats in the PDP are not fighting the party but

the injustices being meted on members. His words: “We are law abiding democrats who respect the rule of law and rights of others in the course of ensuring that the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians are met. He (Tukur) is a political boot licker who cannot bring fame to the party. We don’t have confidence in him anymore. A chairman cannot be running the party as his private entity without due consideration for the party’s status. “My message to Mr. President and the leader of PDP in Nigeria, going by its constitution, you should please direct for the convening of party NEC meeting immediately to remove Tukur from PDP chairmanship before he succeeds in destroying this party. “He is incompetent; he is running the party from his private house; up till now Tukur did not see wisdom in going round the states in the country to say, ‘thank you’ to those who voted him; up till now he did not visit any state in the federation to find out the true position of the party and proffer some guidance where need be; Tukur is running

the PDP as his personal private business.” Wamakko stressed the need for internal democracy in the party ahead of the 2015 general elections. He added: “As leaders, there is no retreat no surrender on our pursuit towards stabilising the confidence of the citizenry for a prosperous nation. Our pride should be to defend the course of justice and fair play for the desired unity, strength and progress.” The Sokoto State governor also insisted he would not support a PDP Governors’ Forum led by Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, no matter the pressure by the PDP chairman, even as he took a swipe on the former Fed-

eral Commissioner of Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak and ex-Niger Delta militant leader, Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo. Insisting that he is not leaving the PDP, the governor averred: “I have been a loyal and proud member of the party and I have been helping in ensuring its growth and unity both here in the state and at the national level.” Tambuwal, in a brief remark restated the loyalty of all the National Assembly members from the state to Wamakko and the PDP. “The purported suspension is of no effect to us and there is no retreat or surren-

der. Wamakko will continue to be our leader even after he finished his term as a governor,” Tambuwal said. Meanwhile, Tukur has told Wammako to leave PDP if he cannot subject himself to the party’s supremacy. Tukur, who spoke through his Special Assistant on Media, Prince Oliver Okpala said: “If he has any agenda to leave the PDP, it is within his constitutional right and he is free, but as long as he remains within the PDP, he must align himself with discipline. “He should not stay in the party and be encouraging insubordination and indiscipline. “The leadership of the party under Tukur has

regards for party discipline and will never waver. Therefore, for him to say Tukur is a political prostitute, does that portray him as a true son? He should express a true sense of respect and discipline because of his position as a governor. “When he insults an elderly man like Tukur because he is a governor, then we don’t think he has the moral fibre to remain in office because as a governor he should live by example. “The example he is showing now does not portray him as someone who has respect for seniority and properly constituted authority like the position of chairman of PDP and the NWC.”

Kalu tasks Nigerians on democracy AYO ESAN


ormer governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has said that Nigeria must ensure social justice, fashion a workable electoral process and nurture its democracy for it to become a true nation. Delivering a lecture titled, “20 years after June 12: Options for survival,” at a programme organised by the Gani Adams-led faction of the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, to mark the 20 years anniversary of the June 12, 1993 presidential election in Lagos on Wednesday, Kalu said free and fair elections is an irreducible minimum for the

progress and development of the country. He said for the country to have free and fair elections, all polls must hold in one day. According to him, all elections must hold in one day except where circumstances have forced them to be staggered because of terminal dates of incumbent governors. “Why must we shut down the whole country for three or four consecutive Saturdays, simply because we are holding elections? This has grave economic and social consequences. Many countries of the world go to the polls on the same day. America votes on a Tuesday and the nation is not shut down,” he said.

L-R: Oyo State Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo; Governor Abiola Ajimobi and Deputy Speaker, of the House of Assembly, David Olaniyan, after the governor delivered an address to the Assembly in Ibadan, yesterday.

ACN cautions Jonathan’s spokesman over foul language FELIX NWANERI


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has advised the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati to learn how to use facts and figures to counter whatever he considers an unfavourable criticism of his principal, instead of resorting to name calling. The party gave the advice in reaction to what it

described as the growing propensity of Abati to resort to the use of foul language against critics of the Jonathan administration, saying such crude verbal attacks may boomerang on the Presidency if left unchecked. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ACN said there is a difference between a vicious verbal attack, which Abati now engages in with relish, and a robust response to crit-

ics of the administration, which is what is expected of him. The party said: “To be sure, the use of dignified language by a presidential spokesman is important because whatever he says is believed to have emanated from his principal. It is therefore unimaginable that President Jonathan will resort to the use of the kind of language that has been spewing out of the mouth of his spokesman in recent times. To the best of our knowledge, no presi-

dential spokesman in Nigeria’s history has employed such base language in defence of his principal.” ACN said using such words as ‘ethically-challenged,’ ‘hypocrite,’ ‘medieval-era ignoramus,’ ‘habitual indolence and brainlessness,’ ‘descent into moral abyss,’ ‘mental indolence,’ ‘bootlicking,’ ‘hideous and second-rate characters,’ and ‘foolish’ to describe the critics of the President is rude, crude, uncouth, unconscionable and uncalled for.



Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


This is the concluding part of Governor Kayode Fayemi’s treatise on June 12, 1993 presidential election and its symbol, late Chief MKO Abiola.

I was at the receiving ends in politics –Fayemi IT TOOK THREE AND A HALF YEARS OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS



1999: False Dawn or Little Beginnings While the elections of 1999 were generally welcomed both in Nigeria and abroad as a crucial turning point, the optimism in some quarters was more cautious. Considering our long history of military tyranny, it seemed prudent to emphasise the distinction between holding elections and implementing genuine democratisation of structures and systems that had been shaped by totalitarian instincts for almost two decades. At the time, I was personally of the view that real democratisation would require more than voting; it would require a complete rethinking of how our society was organised. Then, there were all kinds of hopeful analogies being drawn between the democratic transition that had occurred in South Africa and the one emerging in Nigeria. Some observers expected that just as the African National Congress (ANC), the hub of the liberation movement had rightly assumed the reins of power in South Africa after the collapse of apartheid; a similar transference would occur following the end of military dictatorship and see the pro-democracy movement morph into a ruling party. This fantasy failed to materialise for a number of reasons. Firstly, the analogy was imprecise. While the ANC was a movement that was several decades old, with an ideological fervour and coherence sharpened on the front lines of suffering and struggle, the pro-democracy movement was younger, far more disparate and far from ideologically coherent. The pro-democracy movement’s assortment of activists and politicians mainly wanted the military out of power. The politics of taking over power was a secondary consideration. As such, the pro-democracy movement was in no shape to comply with the organisational demands of a nationwide campaign for power. There were also genuine disagreements over the way forward by key elements of the movement. Some favoured entry into field to contest for power in the post-military era. Others wanted a continued struggle to realise far-reaching constitutional reforms. While some opted out entirely, preferring to boycott the transition process until their demands for deeper constitutional and structural changes were implemented. Thus divided by significant disagreements on tactics and strategy, the movement could not reconstitute itself into an effective political actor. Moreover, at the end of military dictatorship, the movement was too weak, exhausted by the stress of confrontation and the enormous toll that the struggle had taken, to really mount a realistic political challenge. For these reasons, when the shape of the 4th Republic emerged, it seemed that those who had worked the most to enthrone democracy were sidelined while those that had been beneficiaries of and collaborators with military regimes took centre stage. On hindsight, it may be said that the prodemocracy movement suffered from a lack of strategic definition in terms of articulating the next phase of the struggle. We were



so pre-occupied with getting the military out of power that we did not have the time to devise appropriate tactical and strategic responses to that very eventuality. In the event, the all-consuming haste to get the military out of power also framed some of the troubling birth defects of the 4th Republic, chief among them being the fact that the constitution – the guiding document of the republic was not generated through a popular democratic process but by a conclave that edited past constitutions. Indeed, the 4th Republic commenced before anyone actually saw the constitution. But at the time, the overriding imperative was to get the military out of power. Concerns about the provenance of the constitution were deemed nitpicky or churlish worries that could prolong military rule. No one wanted to give the military an excuse to stay a day longer especially when the regime at the time was minded to make a swift exit. The late Chief Bola Ige once observed that what occurred in 1999 was not a transition from military dictatorship to democracy but from military rule to civilian rule. By this he meant that 1999 had not ushered in democratisation in one blow but rather a phase of demilitarisation that would ultimately lead to democracy. My own sense of the transition in 1999 was that it had been shaped significantly by the manner of Abacha’s exit and the arrival of General Abdulsalam Abubakar who eventually handed over to the elected civilian government. The dominance of the ruling party’s hierarchy by retired army generals and civilians with close links to military elites set the tone for party formation and resulted in an authoritarian presidential leadership rather than authentic democratic governance. I have once argued that, in essence, the nature of the transition did not ensure a transformation of the political culture that would have led to a complete overhaul of our systems and structures; it merely effected a re-arrangement of the political space. The politico-cultural fundamentals that inform the conduct of elites remained the same. The widespread euphoria that accompanied the exit of the military and the entry of a civilian government prevented a sober appreciation of how entrenched the military had become in all aspects of Nigerian life. Apart from their obvious prominence in politics, it was the case that almost every financial institution was headed by,



CHALLENGING MY GOVERNORSHIP or had a board director with a military background. Serving and retired military officers owned factories, breweries and farms. Under these circumstances, what emerged in 1999 was not civilian rule but a new militarism. It was, in effect, a transition without transformation. True enough, the Obasanjo era bore the imprint of military era impunity and manifested the discredited authoritarian habits of the past. Executive lawlessness was very much in fashion with the administration selectively obeying court judgements against it. Elections were characterised by chicanery and fraud often officially sanctioned at the highest levels. These symptoms were crowned by the ultimately abortive effort to amend the constitution to enable President Obasanjo run for a third term in office. The defeat of that proposal on the floor of the legislature was a necessary victory for democratic forces. Regardless, it is important not to understate or devalue what occurred in 1999. A transition did happen. However lofty the expectations of the citizenry may have been regarding the advent of democracy, no realistic student of power dynamics could have imagined that democracy would flower so quickly in Nigeria given the long decades of military rule which had warped public consciousness and institutional instincts. It is, therefore, far more useful to see the 1999 transition as a case of humble beginnings and baby steps on the way to democratic maturity rather than a false dawn.

The Struggle Must Continue It would be grossly inaccurate to say that Nigeria has not made progress since 1999. We live in a far greater conducive climate of freedom than those of us who came of age during military rule can recall. There is generally more respect for civil liberties and human rights. The demilitarization of politics has widened the space within which democratic reforms are occurring. Those who are profoundly pessimistic about the Nigerian enterprise continually cite the absence of economic dividends which might serve to “validate” democracy in the eyes of ordinary Nigerians as a major risk to the

sustainability of democracy. In times past, the mismanagement of the economy by democratic regimes was cited by military adventurers who seized power from civilian governments. Arguably, the period between 1983 and 1999 served to dispel the myth that military dictatorships were better economic managers than democratic governments. More importantly, the cure for a retarded democracy is yet more democracy. Proper economic policy which embodies the hopes and aspirations of the people can only be forged in the furnace of a widening democratic space and a revival of the lost democratic art of public conversation. Perhaps the major problem with 1999 and the disenchantment with the pace of change since then is perceptual. From the onset, the exaggerated expectations of the citizenry, which was encouraged by cheap populism on the part of politicians, was primed to disappointment. The scale of decadence was enormous; the range of structural deficiency and institutional dysfunction, too vast to be remedied by the magical appearance of elected officials. Indeed, many of those elected at the time gravely underestimated the scale of the problem and overestimated their own curative powers. Democracy is a journey and not a destination. We need a shift in consciousness from the inflated and fantastic expectations of a democratic destination to a wayfaring mindset that interprets our condition at any point in time in evolutionary terms as a continuing struggle. We have to reject the agonising generalizations of Nigerian life that casts a blanket of stagnation over every sector. The notion that nothing has changed since 1999 and that things have in fact grown worse is cynical, misleading and self-defeating. They are also discouraging to many conscientious and patriotic Nigerians in the public service who have committed themselves to rebuilding this nation. From the tone of negative reportage about Nigeria, one would think that such Nigerians do not exist, but they do! The fact is that there are pockets of progress all over this country where change-minded Nigerians have opted to light candles instead of merely cursing the darkness. Over the past decade, the quality of those at the forefront of politics has improved. There are more progressive-minded actors in the field. That quality and quantity can be expected to rise in the coming years. There are places where transformations in the way we live and govern ourselves are proceeding quietly, slowly and steadily despite the odds. It does no justice to the patriotic men and women who have chosen this path, for the rest of the country to continue the popular and simplistic vilification of everyone in government as corrupt. What these negative commentaries do is reinforce the notion that we have reached the democratic destination and discovered it as a mirage. They stem from the idea that May 29, 1999 marked the end of the struggle when in fact it marked the end of one phase of the struggle and the beginning of another. If there is a slogan that summarises the imperatives of our time it is the popular rallying call of student and trade union activism – “Aluta Continua” i.e. “the Struggle continues.” My own personal odyssey that led me CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

National Mirror

Friday, June 14, 2013

Countdown to major elections in the country especially presidential, usually produces some political foot soldiers that are fronting for the powers that be. SINA FADARE reports that President Goodluck Jonathan’s case cannot be different.


2015: Between Jonathan’s endorsement and political jobbers


very countdown to major elections in Nigeria has always raised the question of our unity and basis for our existence as a nation. The degree and the tenacity however depend on the political gladiators that are involved. The countdown to the 2015 general elections is no different as it has been raising a lot of dust in the political space, questioning in particular whether the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan is morally and constitutionally qualified for a second term ticket. The pros and cons on this debate have dominated the public domain for quite a while and the beauty of it all is that each proponent gives mountainous reasons why the merriment should continue or not. This is not new in the political history of the country. The likes of Daniel Kanu and his two-million march for the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s transmutation to civilian President is still fresh in the memory of Nigerians and neither can the people forget in a hurry the third term agenda of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and his foot soldiers in the National Assembly, where billions of the taxpayers’ money went down the drain despite all denials. It is therefore not strange that Jonathan is equally following the political antecedents of his predecessors, as his foot soldiers are trying to outsmart each other about why he should be given a second term ticket. Some even went to the ridiculous level in order to justify the huge resources tucked into their pockets. The leader of the Niger Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, could not hide his naivety when he declared that the country will not know peace if Jonathan is not re elected in 2015. He said: “There will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta, but everywhere if Goodluck Jonathan is not president by 2015, except God takes his life, which we don’t pray for.” “Chief Olusegun Obasanjo had uninterrupted eight years of two terms to be president, according to the Nigerian constitution. We must have our uninterrupted eight years of two tenures. I am not in support of any amendment of the constitution that will reduce the eight years of two tenures that Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be president of Nigeria.” However, Asari-Dokubo failed to realise that the choice of who become the president of the country squarely lies in the hands of Nigerians and there is little his threat could do. Political pundits are of the view that in as much as Jonathan is constitutionally qualified to contest for a second term under the constitution, it behoves on the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, not to present him as its sole candidate, but also convince Nigerians on why they should vote him for the second time, rather that heating up the polity and coerce the people to submission. In the like manner and surprisingly too, the founder of Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, who was very critical about Jonathan’s government in the past, has suddenly turned a new convert after the alleged award of a multi -billion naira oil pipeline protection contract to him. Fasehun said that Nigerians are not fair to Jonathan and should be given enough time to prove his mettle. His word: “We all talk about Jonathan. He is not responsible for our ill luck. These problems have been building up for decades and are the results of the activities of previous governments. Jonathan is not a magician, the problems that have built up over four decades, you wouldn’t expect Jonathan to come up and solve them all. And Nigerians are not giving him the opportunity to have the peace of mind to deal with the problems. During election, certain people said they were going to make the country ungovernable for him. Is the country governable now?” Perhaps the recent pronouncement by the Southern Nigeria Peoples Assembly, SNPA, after a two-day conference in



Lagos recently is a pointer that the incumbent president has been given a nod to contest for his second term in office. According to the communiqué released at the end of the deliberation, it was obvious that the Jonathan foot soldiers have infiltrated the Assembly, alleged to have been sponsored by the Presidency. The communiqué reads: “Accordingly, the Assembly passes a vote of confidence on Mr. President and notes that within the realm of constitutionality, nothing inhibits him to seek re-election if he so desires. The choice of who becomes the President of Nigeria in 2015 resides with the Nigerian people and not subject to the authority, whims and caprices of any one person or persons.” The group is being led by former Vice-President, Alex Ekwueme, Chief Edwin Clack and Bishop Bolanle Gbonigi. Though one of the conveners of the conference, Dr Kunle Olajide, in an interview with National Mirror denied that the Assembly endorsed Jonathan but argued that under the constitution, Jonathan has the fundamental right to contest if he desire come 2015. Pointing out that since the president is qualified under the law of the land, Olajide added that it behooves on Nigerians who are going to vote to decide the choice of their president in an open election at the appropriate time. More worrisome, but not unexpected was the declaration by the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, that there was no vacancy in Aso Rock in 2015. Alamieyeseigha, who was recently granted a presidential pardon by Jonathan after he was convicted for looting


the Bayelsa treasury when he was the governor, perhaps had to go all out and blindly too, to drum support for the second term of Jonathan because of the heavy burden he removed from his head. The former governor said: “Aso Rock is not vacant. The Northern agitators will all at the appropriate time join the moving train. Those against President Jonathan contesting for presidency in 2015 may have their opinion, but I can assure you that President Jonathan will remain as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, come 2015.” Ironically, those who are clamouring for the return of Jonathan do not base their argument on issues and performance which can encourage Nigerians to go back to the poll to re-elect him come 2015. Speaking to National Mirror on the issue, the Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Oyo State, Mr. Akin Oke, said that democracy gives room for people to adopt any candidate of their choice at a given time, but pointed out that as long as there is free and fair election, it does not matter who adopt who. “The truth of the matter is that Nigerians will determine who is going to be their president when election comes, not somebody, somewhere adopting anybody. Whoever is adopted does not matter as long as there is free and fair election and Nigerians are given the opportunity to elect their president at the right time without any intimidation of any kind.” Speaking in the same vein, Senator Gbenga Kaka noted that “we are not producing the president of the South-East, West or South-South. We are trying to produce the president of Nigeria. Let anybody try to adopt whoever he/she desires, when it is time, the people of Nigeria will determine their president.” The ACN chieftain told National Mirror that in as much as those endorsing Jonathan are exercising their fundamental human rights, “we are just at the half term of the current tenure, therefore rather than over heating the polity, they should allow all of us that are elected to concentrate on the assignment given to us so that we may have time to confront the problems in our hand. It is too early to adopt this or that. They should not put cotton wool on the faces of Nigerians otherwise the consequences may be too grievious for all of us.” However, Senator Bode Olowoporoku said that the adoption of Jonathan is not only a good omen for the country, it is a fundamental issue that a minority is ruling the country. He added that in the history of the country, this is the first time the minority will have the opportunity to rule the country, therefore his adoption for a second term would be a welcome development. His words: “It is the minority who do not want Nigeria to scatter. The other there major ethnic groups had one time or the other threatened the unity of Nigeria. Therefore, giving him the opportunity of second term is a good omen.” The PDP chieftain noted that he was “looking at a situation whereby Jonathan would be there and the constitution of the country would be changed. Change from the presidential system to a parliamentary system. That is what can integrate this country. The present system cannot stop corruption because it is a lubrication of the present presidential system.” Whichever way one looks at the Jonathan foot soldiers clamouring for a second term tenure for him, it is obvious that majority of them are mere birds of the passage struggling for what to eat. Political pundits are of the view that Jonathan, like any other political gladiator in the country, would always try to believe everybody, especially when the issue of political ambition is carried beyond the ordinary, therefore, he would not be able to separate political jobbers from those who believe in his capability and ability to take the country to the next level. A number of those clamouring for his re-election on primordial sentiments have little or no electoral value to ensure the president is re-elected in 2015.



Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

LG autonomy is a necessity –ALGON president Does democracy day celebration mean anything at the local government level? Yes, it means a lot because local government is the falcon of democracy; it is the very foundation of democracy, it is the government closest to the people at the grassroots and I can tell you that our democracy will be firmly rooted if we take advantage of the great participation of Nigerians at grassroots level in our democratic life. How has the local government system fared in the past two years? In the past two years, I can say that our fortunes have been better, there has been improved education and sensitisation on issues of local government system in the country and we are beginning to see our people more alive on issues of local government as stated by the constitution. We have witnessed more states holding elections at the councils and we are having more democratic dividends across the country. But there are some states that have refused to conduct local government elections, what is ALGON doing to compel those states to conduct council elections? We cannot compel the state governments but we have been appealing to different states to educate and sensitise NiCONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 from the place of activism to the place of public service informs my sense of our democracy as a journey and a struggle. I had returned from exile in 1999 discerning that a new phase of activism required a more direct engagement at home with the new dispensation. My work focused on building bridges between the government and civil society that would enable the national leadership benefit from the talents and ideas of citizens within and outside the country. In time, however, I became convinced that the efforts required to reform the system are not necessarily the same as the efforts necessary to transform it. I faced two choices. I could remain on the sidelines as it were with my engagement restricted to a theoretical and low-risk involvement in the unfolding dynamics of power and politics in my country. Or I could become an actor in the political system, attaining a more practical understanding of what it would take to effect transformation, and thereby function as an agent of change from within the system. I opted for the latter as I had no intention of remaining on the sidelines as an eternal critic of the system. In 2005, I decided to run for public office and announced my candidacy for the governorship of Ekiti State, Nigeria. My journey to that office, beginning with my being at the receiving end of chicanery unprecedented even by Nigerian standards in the 2007 elections, through a protracted legal battle to reclaim my mandate and an election rerun which I won, were an invaluable education in the byzantine ways and means of Nigerian politics. It took three and a half years of legal proceedings before my electoral mandate was restored by the courts. It however did not end there; the electoral robbers and their collaborators had the effrontery to institute a most ridiculous case at the Supreme Court challenging my governorship. This case was only just decided in my favour on Friday May 31, 2013, over six years after the substantive election was held! Such

Mr. Nwabueze Okafor is National President of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON. The chairman of Enugu-South Local Government in this interview with DENNIS AGBO, speaks on how the local government system has fared. Excerpts: councils and reminding them equally that the constitution which they swore to uphold has made provision for election at the local government level.


gerians on the need for us to follow the provisions of the constitution which in section seven guarantees the elections at the local government level. So what we have been doing is to appeal to different state governments and to tell them of the usefulness of having a democratic elected

Some governors are still opposed to granting autonomy to the local government as third tier. Is there anything you are doing about that? We have at different fora told different political stakeholders that an autonomous and independent local government system will be very beneficial to our people and add to whatever the federal and state governments are doing at their levels. But some people are still of the opinion that the local governments don’t perform. Any workman can only perform based on the availability of the tools before him to do the job. In cases you say that local government don’t perform, it could be because they don’t have financial independence but in local governments like Enugu where they are given their allocation fully and as at when do, you find out that local

June 12 struggle must continue –Fayemi THE FACT IS THAT


NIGERIANS HAVE OPTED TO LIGHT CANDLES INSTEAD OF MERELY CURSING THE DARKNESS impunity as I have argued is due to the gaps in our judicial system that makes no provisions for the punishment of those that subvert the people’s sacred mandate. Despite the onerous difficulties involved in my epic struggle for justice, I am resolute in my conviction that Nigeria belongs to those who are prepared to stand up, stand firm and take control of their destinies. Our young democracy can only be enhanced by testing our institutions to their limits. In my case, my successful recourse to the judiciary, protracted though it was, suggested that there are embers of hope for our democracy that have to be stoked by the discipline of committed and focused engagement. It needs to be added that there have been several other instances in which activist judges reversed ill-gotten electoral gains and undid injustices wrought on Election Day by political gangsters. Mine is not an isolated case. The presence of such spirits on the bench is another harbinger of hope for our country and is one of the reasons why it is simply not right or fair to say that public service remains the province of brigands. If part of the tragedy of the annulment of June 12 was the subornment of the judiciary as an instrument to negate the will of the people, then it is fair to say that con-


scientious judges have gone some way towards redeeming the honour and integrity of the judiciary. Such spirits are fellow wayfarers in the quest for a just and prosperous nation; their presence in various sectors of our national life recommends a more positive appraisal of our country’s prospects.

Conclusion What we established in 1999 is the right to choose our leaders via the ballot. The current phase of the struggle is about maintaining the sanctity of the ballot, holding those elected accountable and stimulating civic engagement in the public realm, in a way that democratises ownership of this democracy. We must banish the idea that governance is something performed by a team of gifted performers or strong men, while the rest of the citizens are spectators or complainers. During the days of military rule, some soldiers declared with more than a touch of hubris that politics is much too important to be left to politicians. By this they meant that the military had the right to be political players since politicians had generally proven inept. Ultimately, the military proved to be no better at politics and governance themselves.

governments in Enugu are having very big and important projects like asphalt road, water schemes and you find out that if there are local governments that don’t perform, it could be because they have not been granted financial autonomy. What is ALGON doing about the local government/state Joint Account Committee, JAC? There is nothing we can do for now. We have already sent memo to the National Assembly to effect a constitutional amendment and expunge that section 162 (6). So until the National Assembly does that there is nothing we can do because it is a constitutional matter. But from your own experience as a local government chairman, what have you done in the past two years? Well, I think that my people should be in a better position to do that but if you go to the rural communities in Enugu south local government; you will see the modest achievements we have recorded in the last two years. We have done 12 kilometres of asphalt roads, even street lights we have given, electricity and many more. We have tried in our way as a local government. But there is a fundamental truth to the saying that politics is too important to be left to politicians. It is about redefining politics itself, transforming it from a rarefied craft reserved for a select few professional politicians, to the protocols and relationships that undergird personal, communal and social well-being. In other words, politics is the management of human relationships, interactions and aspirations in the service of the common good. It is not something mysterious that only “politicians” do; it is how citizens operate. Politics is a civic responsibility. It is how we engage with each other. The pursuit of good governance means that politicians can no longer be left to their own devices. Seen in this light, the mutual estrangement of government and civil society will end. The civil society will continue to express the communal instinct to regulate power but the chronic antagonism that poisons relations between the state and civil society will be replaced by mutual respect and positive tension. Civic engagement means that the state can access a much larger pool of wisdom and knowledge made available by a new rapport with civil society. In return, participatory governance will become much more practicable across all levels of governance. Looking back on this occasion of the 20th anniversary of June 12, it is instructive to note that only civic movements mobilised in the context of larger patriotic interests can overwhelm the forces of impunity. It is the discipline of civic engagement that will keep at bay those who wish to turn back the hands of the clock and return us to the dark days of totalitarian rule. The struggle we are engaged in is dedicated to making this democracy truly a government of the people, for the people and by the people, and by so doing honour the memory of Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola and all those who paid the supreme sacrifice pursuant of our common aspirations for the good society. Concluded.

National Mirror


Friday, June 14, 2013


NAFDAC succeeding with dynamic hi-tech strategies MARTINS F.O. IKHILAE


ounterfeiting and faking of drugs and food substances have become a global industry, so also are the worries and concerns over the development. Particularly for Nigeria, the challenge has been the impetus needed to frontally and aggressively confront the menace. To the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria’s health boosting agency, falls that responsibility. The efforts of the Dr. Paul B. Orhii-led agency, especially its deployment of cutting edge technologies to fight and win the anti-counterfeit drugs war has gained global recognition. Take Truscan, NAFDAC’s successful deployment of this technology brought it global consciousness. There are also Black Eye and Radio Frequency Identification system (RFID). I hasten to add the Mobile Authentication Service (MAS), the world’s first anti-counterfeiting contraption which uses the SMS platform. Dr. Orhii is enthralled by MAS, especially for its cost effectiveness and immediacy of result. The simplicity of MAS is awesome. The programme involves the packaging of drugs with a scratch card placed on drug packs from the point of manufacture. When scratched, the hidden codes revealed on the packs could be sent free of charge via SMS to 38353 on the MTN, Zain and Globalcom networks. Shortly afterwards, the sender will receive a reply confirming whether the product is genuine or not. Fantastic you will say! What it means is that NAFDAC may finally have suc-

ceeded in placing the responsibility of detecting counterfeit drugs in the hands of Nigeria’s over 114 million mobile phone subscribers spread among MTN, Globacom , Airtel , Etisalat Nigeria ,Starcom and MTEL Ltd, the mobile arm of NITEL. It will thrill you to no end to know that the agency is applauded globally as the world’s first drug regulatory authority to deploy and use hand-held devices at borders for on-the-spot detection of counterfeit medicines with resounding successes! While MAS may be a first choice because of its mass involvement appeal, Black Eye, Radio Frequency Identification system and Truscan equally have their own attractions. Black Eye has the capacity to screen multiple drug samples at the same time. This is how it goes: It compares a tablet that you are trying to check and tell you whether it is genuine or fake; and if you ask from the machine, it will break the product down into its active pharmaceutical ingredients; if counterfeited, it could reveal the inactive pharmaceutical ingredients. It is a ready tool in the hands of NAFDAC’s operatives because it can take up to 1000 different tablets at the same time and break them down and tell you which one is good or bad. The Radio Frequency Identification system has the ability to track and trace regulated foods and medicines and also prevent the forgery of sensitive documents. As hinted above, Truscan is a hand-held device using Roman Spectroscopy to detect counterfeit products. With this technology, NAFDAC officials can quickly scan imported products at the


DRUGS WAR HAS GAINED GLOBAL RECOGNITION ports and release them on time without compromising their quality. Nigeria is now the first country in the world to use it to detect quality of medicines. Truscan’s efficacy is underlined by the glowing tribute from Roxy Nader of the Londonbased independent information provider on country risk and industry research, Business Monitor International. Nader, an authority on Nigerian pharmaceutical market has this to say on the agency’s deployment of Truscan: “NAFDAC has recorded a major food and drug regulatory milestone with the acquisition of the Truscan device”. It is instructive to know that following its success in Nigeria, the Food and Drug Administration agencies in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Canada etc, have also started using it. So much is the public confidence in the technology driven war against coun-

terfeit and fake drugs and food items in Nigeria by NAFDAC that critical stakeholders in the sector are ready to throw in everything and synergise with the agency to win the war. Removing the burden of tariff payment from consumers of the drug is a veritable incentive for its use. And so, key stakeholders in the sector (drug manufacturers) have come to the aid of consumers by accepting to fund it, although it is currently applicable to malaria drugs and antibiotics, being products most cloned and adulterated by the murderous counterfeiters. The NAFDAC has assured that efforts are also on to extend the service to other general purpose drugs. The Mobile Authentication Service guarantees befitting and enduring positive corporate image for pharmaceutical companies and their products, thus ensuring high level product patronage with the attendant high revenue yield for such firms. For pharmaceutical companies that are reluctant to key into the strategy because of its perceived cost implications, they might have placed higher premiums on profitability than the lives of their customers. From the larger interest of the society, this attitude is unpatriotic. Let me say unequivocally that Dr Orhii’s ongoing revolution in NAFDAC has succeeded in placing Nigeria in the league of serious countries of the world ready to do anything to protect their people from the merchants of death that drug counterfeiters have become. Ikhilae, martinsikhilae@ymail. com, is a Lagos-based public affairs analyst

Nigeria’s VIPs and flight clearance BALA OTHMAN


n recent time the aviation sector has been on the spotlight in respect of flights involving VIPs, especially two state governors, namely, Rotimi Amaechi and Adams Oshiomhole of Rivers and Edo states respectively. The subject of controversy borders on the filing of flight plan and declaration of manifest by the crew, specifically the pilots. Flight plan is a pre determined plan of the details of a particular proposed flight. This is a required planning document that covers the expected operational details of a flight, such as destination, route, passengers on board and endurance (extra fuel). In the above cases under reference, this basic requirement before request for start-up by the pilots was never followed and consequently this led to the delay of their respective flights. This requirement is a mandatory documentation for safety and security, all aimed at protecting both the operator and the passengers on board. Unfortunately, the good intention of this simple aviation regulation under reference has brought about the avoidable face-off between the officials of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the crew of the aircraft of affected personalities, who have turned it


ACCIDENT DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE into a political tool for blackmail. In both cases at Akure and Benin City, the regulatory agency requested from the crew the flight plan and passenger manifest. The response from the crew under reference was initially cold, but the officials were able to convince them of the need to follow the normal procedure on flight documentation. This delay obviously, caused by error of commission or omission on the part of the crew, instantly in both cases, turned out to be termed as “grounding of the aircraft” with the affected VIPs attributing their ordeal to political interference, which in any case was a wrong attribution. For the Akure episode, there were two aircraft. One was conveying the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon.

Aminu Tambuwal and other guests; the crew complied with the flight procedure and was duly cleared out of the airport, while controversies trailed the other one boarded by Governor Amaechi on account of the failure of the crew to file in the flight document. Who do you blame for this shoddy handling of flight, the crew or NAMA officials that were asking for proper documentation? Why this brouhaha and why are people, especially the political caterwaulers making mountain out of mole hill? There is no political issue in this matter. The NAMA is an air navigation service provider and they operate within globally acceptable standards. They are professionally guided by rules and procedures to ensure safety from the ground to the air and back to the ground. One is therefore, amazed by the level of ignorance of some commentators on these flights involving the two VIPs. Perhaps, they should be reminded that air safety does not respect status, as what is applicable to ordinary citizens is equally applicable to VIPs because accident does not discriminate. So NAMA, as the agency responsible for air traffic management in the country, has as part of its core values safety, reliability, responsibility and professionalism. These values passionately shared by the

workforce informed the success behind the handling of more than 500 flights daily across the nation’s airports. Among these flights are the fleet in the Presidency which as a matter of fact diligently follows the procedure by filing flight plan and declaring manifest accordingly. So if those in the Presidency, including the crew of ‘’Nigeria 001’’ could subscribe to simple flight documentation with NAMA, why would other VIPs not follow suit? Non-scheduled operators should obey simple aviation rules, which in any case are not all that new in the global aviation business. Nigeria cannot be an exception in flight documentation across the nation’s airports, particularly non-scheduled operations. Lastly, request for proper documentation for these two instances has no political undertone and should be seen and treated with the merit of professionalism. Othman is a Lagos-based freelance journalist Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ mirrorlagos@ or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.



Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror



































Chinese investment in Nigerian housing sector I T C

he Chinese Expert and Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE), and the International Commercial Bank of China, ICPC, are in Nigeria to invest $6 billion in the country’s housing sector, according to recent reports. Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, (FMBN), Mallam Gimba Yau’ Kumo made the said investment plan public at a media round-table organized by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja. The invested fund would be provided as loan to Chinese construction companies in the country on disbursement tranches of $1.5 billion apiece and a tenor of 15 to 20 years. The Chinese firms, however, would build the houses under the supervision of the FMBN. For decades, ours has been a nation characterized by housing crisis. Most residences are overcrowded while urban slums and shanties are on the increase. Housing units are inadequate and the costs of available ones are prohibitive, likewise the prices of building materials. Between 1979 and 1983, for instance the then National Party of Nigeria (NPN)-led Federal Government and the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN)-controlled states built low-cost housing units. While the FG under the NPN built such houses in the each state of the federation, the UPN state government in Lagos, especially under the leader-

ship of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, built housing units in different locations in the state. The state housing project could be described as somewhat interventionist at the state level, while the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) was in charge of the houses constructed by the FG. Since the mid 80s, however, there visibly has been a housing policy shift in government, especially at the federal level. The adoption of Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) heralded a sharp decline of the government in social services provisioning, including housing. The trend continued under subsequent administrations, with enormous emphasis placed on private sector driven investment in the housing sector. This policy thrust seems not different under the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. So far, nothing tangible has been invested by the government to address the housing deficit in the country put at 17 million housing units. It may be said, therefore, that perhaps, the lure or attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is behind the planned Chinese investment in the Nigerian economy, particularly in the housing sector. In principle, we think the intervention is timely and commendable, since the gesture would assist in reducing the huge housing gap in the country. Reports said the Chinese companies are expected to inject or transfer their expertise









COUNTERPARTS into Nigeria’s building sector to ensure that the housing units to be provided are affordable. The FMBN ought to be commended as well for negotiating the said investment deal. The mortgage agency is, in addition, expected to protect the country’s interest through its monitoring roles. However, attention should be drawn even at this planning stage to the apprehension that China might be on a neo-imperialist mission, using its countless foreign business concerns as fronts. So far, Chinese penetration of developing economies, including Nigeria’s, as a result of economic liberalization has led to the collapse of a sizeable number of local industries, with attendant job losses. It may, consequently, be preposterous, under the FMBNbrokered deal, to entirely concede the construction of the housing units Chinese experts

to the exclusion of Nigerian builders and engineers. It is not unlikely that strict Chinese involvement would aim at creating jobs more for Chinese technicians and engineers than for their Nigerian counterparts. Therefore, the FMBN should insist on the inclusion of the local or Nigerian component in the Chinese project, considering the massive unemployment ravaging Nigerian youths, including building experts. The FG should, as much as possible and is feasible, superintend over the economy instead of leaving it to the total control of market forces. Some experts are still insistent that whether market forces or private sector-driven, a nation’s economy should be under the supervision of its government with a view to moderating inevitable structural distortions and underdevelopment (retrogression). Complete state withdrawal from essential social provisioning, housing inclusive, is widely criticized as government’s abandonment of its social responsibility to its citizens. The state, especially, in developing countries like Nigeria, should be sufficiently involved in the building and maintenance of affordable houses. The FG might need to re-think its housing policy, devolve resources to the federating units to invest in housing; and assist the development of indigenous building technology in tune with local needs and realities.

ON THIS DAY June 14, 2002

June 14, 1994

June 14, 1967

The 1994 Stanley Cup riot occurred after the New York Rangers The People’s Republic of China tested its first hydroNear-Earth asteroid 2002 MN missed the Earth by 75,000 miles won the Stanley Cup from Vancouver, causing an estimated CA$1.1 gen bomb. A thermonuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon (121,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth million (Canadian dollars) damage, and leading to 200 arrests and design that uses the heat generated by a fission bomb to and the Moon. A near-Earth object (NEO) is a Solar System object injuries. One victim was left with permanent brain damage. The compress and ignite a nuclear fusion stage. This indiwhose orbit brings it into proximity with the Earth. All NEOs have President Jonathan riot followed Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals in which the rectly results in a greatly increased energy yield—exploa closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) of less than 1.3 AU. They Vancouver Canucks lost toIkoyi, the New York Rangers. It started on the sive “power”. It is colloquially referred to as a hydrogen include a few thousand near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), near-Earth Send your letters or or mails mailsto toPMB PMB10001, 10001,Ikoyi, ourEmail: and 08056180209, 07033375481 ororour and or or 08054103275, 07033375481 (SMS evening of June 14,the 1994, and continued intoletters the following morning. (SMS only).Editor The Editor reserves to edit and letters reject or photographs. Psuedonyms may be but used, but must beitclearly marked as such. fusion. bomb or H-bomb because employs only). The reserves the right toright edit and reject or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, must be clearly marked as hydrogen such. comets, a number of solar-orbiting spacecraft, and meteoroids.

Letters to Letters tothe theEditor Editor





Tiwa Savage


of women development programmes from across industries. Nonyelu said that the format will be a blend of entertainment and inspirational words for women, celebrating women who have made significant strides in their personal development but also that of their industry or community and at the same inspiring the future women leaders to aim for more. “On the invitation list are: CEOs/ MDs, Chairmen, Ministers and Diplomats; executives from across industries, graduates, etc. – all 4000 of them

at the Eko Hotel and Suites Convention Centre”, Nonyelu said. Moore has recorded several hit records, including Love’s Taken Over, It’s Alright, I’m What You Need, ‘Old School Lovin’, and ‘Free’. She recorded ‘Your Home is in My Heart’ with Boyz II Men for the How Stella Got Her Groove Back soundtrack and her song ‘Wey U’ was on the soundtrack of Waiting to Exhale in 1995. Warwick’s first solo single, ‘Don’t Make Me Over’ was released in November 1962 on the Scepter Records label, ‘This Empty Place’ and ‘Make



ome of the world’s most inspiring women singers and their Nigerian counterparts will gather tomorrow at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel and Suites for the first-ever Women Celebrating Women, WCW conference. Among those to perform at the event are Americans: Chante Moore, Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston, Trini-tee 5:7, Jessica Reedy and Sunshine Anderson. Others are the Nigerians: Omawumi, Tiwa Savage, Mo’Cheddah, Waje, Chidinma and Niyola. Organised by Eko Hotel and Suites, Upfront & Personal and GINA Consulting, the conference is to encourage women individually and collectively to nurture, support and celebrate each other at all levels. Ify Nonyelu, the business development director for WCW, who said all the Americans arrived today, explained that the key features of the event include: distinguished speakers, networking platform, celebrating achievements, and brand and product positioning. “The WCW event will bring together women from all walks of life, as individuals/groups and supporting organisations to collectively reflect on their progress; celebrate their achievements and collaborate in exploring the greatness that is possible when they think, talk, sing, share, support and stand together on one platform”, she said in a statement released to the media. She explained that the organisations onboard include: Women in Successful Careers, WISCAR, Association of Women in Aviation and the Medical Women Association of Nigeria, among others. Speakers will be founders of women empowerment groups and heads

the Music Play’ were to follow. Her fourth single, ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart,’ released in December 1963, was Warwick’s first top 10 pop hit going to number eight in the U.S.A. as well as an international hit. ‘Walk On By’ a major international hit came in April 1964, solidifying her career. Houston’s singing career began in 1938 when she joined her sister Anne and brothers Larry and Nicky in the gospel singing group the Drinkard Four. Houston and the Drinkard Singers were to regularly perform at New Hope Baptist Church and later recorded a live album for RCA called A Joyful Noise. In 1998, Trin-i-tee 5:7, a gospel duo from New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States released their self-titled first album, which debuted at number one on the Top Gospel charts. Trin-i-tee 5:7 has since sold over 2.5 million albums. Born July 12, 1988, Reedy’s grandfather, a pastor, frequently called her up to sing after his sermons when she was only four years old. Soon she was sharing the stage with contemporary gospel greats like Mary Mary, BeBe Winans, Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond, Donald Lawrence, Kieara Sheard, Ricky Dillard, and others. Light Records released her debut album, From the Heart, in 2011. Anderson released her debut album, Your Woman in June of 2001 on Atlantic Records as number eight on Billboard’s Hot 200 and number two on Top R&B charts. In September 2010, She announced that her new single ‘Lie to Kick It’ was released to radio. Her third studio album, The Sun Shines Again was released November 2, 2010 on Verve Forecast Records. The Nigerians, Omawumi, Tiwa Savage, Mo’Cheddah, Waje, Chidinma and Niyola are all heavyweights in their own right.

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Denrele’s Day

Chante Moore, Dionne Warwick, others inspire women in Lagos

P. 20-21


P. 22

Friday, June 14, 2013


Inside FCT

VOL. 3 No. 643


MI, Ice Prince, Naeto C, others for Lokoja Star Music Trek


uperstar performers M.I, Ice Prince, J Martins and Naeto C are ready to give Lokoja fans an

Artmosphere for City Life

Iyanya still in concert


he sixth edition of Artmosphere, tagged: City Life, will X-ray creative narratives that border on life and living in the cities. Eghosa Imasuen, author of the highly acclaimed novel, Fine Boys and Unoma Azuah, literary scholar, novelist and winner of the Ama Ata Aidoo Prize, will be reading from their works at the event. Skilled modern poets, Tosin Gbogi and Tolu Oloruntoba, will read from their poetry collections. WriteHouse Collective, which organises Artmosphere will be launching its online literary, culture and politics magazine, Sakonfa at the event to take place tomorrow in Ibadan, Oyo State.

I Iyanya

yanya’s Kukere concert is still on in the UK as another performance holds today Friday by 6.00 p.m. at Withworth Street, off Oxford Road, Manchester, UK.

La Mango’s party for Ouch! boss


oday, La Mango Restaurant and Bar hosts Nigerian designer, Uche Nnaji of Ouch! at an exclusive celebrity birthday party by 10.00 p.m. at La Mango Restaurant and Bar, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.

Another day for Word Café


ixie Dust PR in conjunction with Koga Lounge presents ‘Word Café’, a spoken word, poetry and music event on Sunday at Koga Lounge, Oregun, Lagos. The event will be hosted by Lulu of Radio Continental and it will feature performances by rising acts including Patogen, Zuki, Splash and Switch. Headliners include rapper M-Trill; spoken word artistes: Adaora, Suzie and Dolapo and poet, MC Bade Smart for poetry. Time is 3.00 p.m.

Mirror Mongers

Ice Prince and M.I performing at the Star Music Trek concert in Festac.

exciting thrill at the next stage of the Star Music Trek concert which will hold tomorrow at Lokoja Stadium, Lokoja, Kogi State. The first leg of the concert, which had over 50,000 fans in attendance, held in Festac Town, Lagos. Other artistes who will be performing at Lokoja include J. Martins, Dr. Sid and 2010 Star Quest winners. JukeBox. Star Music Trek 2013 will span 10 weeks and tour 10 cities across the country.

P. 33




National Mirror

Friday, June 14, 2013

Talent hunt, reality T.V. shows: Where the Talent hunt and reality T.V. Shows in Nigeria have, to a reasonable extent, upped the ante, in the quality of content packaging, production and presentation. By extension, these shows have captured a great number of eyeballs by inducing more interest in tele-viewing while notable brands through sole or fringe sponsorship of the shows have cleverly seized the platform so presented for a veritable branding opportunity. A DEBAYO A BAYOMI


n truth, one can almost run out of breath counting the talent hunt and reality T.V. shows in Nigeria. Consider Gulder Ultimate search, MTN’s Project Fame, West African Idols and its latter-day variant, the Nigerian idol (sponsored by Etisalat, Pepsi and such other fringe facilitators as Sony, Royal Exchange Assurance etc.), Peak Talent Hunt Show, Star Quest (sponsored by Nigerian Breweries’ Star lager beer), Lucozade Boost Free Style, Maltina Dance All and only recently, Glo’s XFactor (and I am sure we are still counting, if content providers are still thinking and sponsors are still willing). No doubt, it is laudable that these talent hunt and reality T.V. shows have served to take the minds of most of our talented youths off crime and other such untoward tendencies, in the face of a depressed economy and its attendant consequences like unemployment and crippling poverty. Energised, therefore, with the hope and prospect of not only the possibility of carting home the winning prize, but even being able to expose their innate gifts on such an organised and grand platform to a wider audience (outside of their immediate family members and friends) the numerous contestants in these shows look forward to the contests every year with bated breath. Indeed, any hint or suggestion of suspending or stopping these shows (as was the case with the Skye Bank -sponsored “Celebrity Takes Two”) will break not a few hearts. But for all their pomp, glamour and capacity for getting the already smitten and ever-expectant viewers swooning over contestants, one edition to another, these talent hunt and reality TV Shows should look beyond the events and do more to improve the fortunes and profile of their winners, when the shows are over. Truth is, it would seem that once the shows have been previewed, executed with a considerable degree of success and a winner emerges, every other thing just pales into insignificance. Very little, thereafter, is heard apart from scant and occasional mention of appearances of such winners, in the media, at certain events or outings like movie premieres, upscale parties, album or product launches etc. This, for me, is where the roof leaks! By way of digression it is strange that sometimes, only the runners-up and not the real winners make headway by breaking into limelight, public con-



A CHEQUE... SOAKING IN THE CHEERS OF AN EXCITED STUDIO AUDIENCE sciousness and acceptance, long after the trophy is won and the show is done. An eloquent example of this is Omawumi, who emerged only a runner–up in West African Idol. Today, she is a household name and an ambassador for Mortein and lately Globacom, owing to her own tenacity, power of her individual convictions, about the talent lodged in her and propensity for self-realisation. Timi Dakolo who won the last West African Idol crown, is gradually attempting to establish himself musically. But the same, certainly, cannot be said of most of the winners of these talent hunt and reality TV shows in Nigeria. Yeka Onka, who was the first to emerge the winner in the Season 1 of the Etisalat-sponsored Nigerian Idol is a case in point. Her appearance at last year’s edition of the show, as a guest artiste, did nothing to show that she is a purveyor of any musical artistry true stars are made of. Her very flat rendition and tepid stage craft did not justify her star status or the fact that she went through grooming during the first edition of the show. For the winner of the fifth season of the Big Brother Africa reality T.V. show, Uti Nwachukwu, his gifts for acting and television presentation have continued to avail for him and fetched him a role in movies like In the Cupboard, True Citizens and a regular space as an anchor on Jara, an entertainment programme on African Magic. Otherwise, he would, easily, have slipped into oblivion. While we have dwelt on individuals emerging winners in all the other talent hunt and reality TV shows, it is far worse for all the past winners of Star Quest. As everyone knows, contestants in this talent hunt show must, in keeping with its raison d’etre and at the behest of the sponsors, participate as

Nigerian Idol Season I winner, Yeka Onka performing

a group. The painful part is that all the groups which won in the past merely stayed together for a while only to disperse thereafter. Really, how easy is it to “force” six or seven talented individuals, each with his or her distinct gift, into an alliance on account of winning as a group in a contest? To be sure, nothing apart from occasional appearances in Star Mega Jam has been heard about all the past winners, till date. Even the inaugural winners of the talent hunt, KC Presh, have since separated into KCee and Presh! However, while KCee has gone on to lap up brisk acceptance and massive

airplay earned from his two hit singles: Okpekete and Limpopo, music lovers still await the solo effort of Presh. Now, the pertinent question to ask – all things considered is how can talents discovered in all these talent hunt and reality TV Shows continue to retain their “star status” and live off their new found fame? At no cost to anyone, here is my recipe: I think for all these shows, a postevent talent monitoring and nurturing team, made up of experts in every area of entertainment conceivable should be constituted. This way, the winners, instead of being left to their own devices, are sufficiently groomed on honing


What’s special about Djinee? Djinee has released two more songs, Wonder and Alright as part of his next album, The Pre Album. How happy will this make his fans? NGOZI EMEDOLIBE


he Pre Album, something new from singer Djinee is being eagerly awaited in the Nigerian music industry. As part of the build up, Djinee released two songs in December 2012, We Dey Here and Lovers Rock from the collection in the mills. And barely six months after, he made available two more songs, Wonder and Alright, which debuted online last week. This attempt is an apparent effort to whet the appetite of his fans before the album is finally made available, possible in the next couple of months. For the long pause, musically speaking, fans have all the right to wonder if Djinee still has the spark that reverberated in the music scene when he re-

leased his popular single, Ego; the song which stood him out in terms of style, genre and language of delivery, and became somewhat an anthem at a time. For starters, the two singles which were released this week are the typical Djinee type of songs, coming with all the mixes an avid fan of his would expect in terms of Pidgin English, Highlife, guitar works and lyrics. Interestingly, his theme is also changing subtly. Previous works portrayed ‘love-struck’ lines, but he is, in this album, tilting towards emotions and well-being. The song, Wonder offers a lot of hope, being a typical love ballad synonymous with what Ego represented. It is a collection of lines and rhymes to prove his love for someone, whom he vows to treat well, availing the good things of life, like foreign trips.

National Mirror


Friday, June 14, 2013

roof leaks their crafts, evolving into the real stars that they should be and in so doing encourage other stars-in-waiting to aspire to step into this new world of fame. These winners can be attached to seasoned music producers, songwriters, dance and speech instructors, managers and indeed that formidable team that can assist in planting their feet firmly on the path to stardom. Reason is becoming a star requires much more than emerging a winner in a contest on one day, getting handed the keys to an SUV, with a cheque, soaking in the cheers of an excited studio audience and the palpable frenzy of the moment. Let it be known that the real task of making the winners of any talent hunt and reality TV show true and ever-relevant stars begins where the show ends. What becomes of these bearers of the sponsors’ crest is as much a brand association issue as the reason for organising the shows in the first place. Simply put, to justify the efforts and resources of not just the sponsors, but also the organisers of such shows, the successful careers of winners should be of utmost importance. In the light of this, one can only urge the makers of such glittering stars as Iyanya, Chidinma, Praiz and more to continue with that winning streak of discovering more ‘stars-in-waiting’, nurturing and keeping them sparkling and brightening up the musical firmament in Nigeria and indeed beyond. This, in my view, will extend the mileage to be enjoyed, by all stakeholders beyond just a few weeks of the shows’ duration to an all-time source of brand equity while opening the vistas for more young and talented Nigerians, nay Africans to live their dreams. Abayomi, a Lagos-based costumier, is follower of pop-culture.







2face and Annie in a scene from the video

Rainbow: Too many things in one

2face’s new video, Rainbow may be a confirmation of his love for his wife, but it will raise issues about drawing a line between art and family NGOZI EMEDOLIBE


f you imagine that 2face is a mixture; his music, success and of course, his encounter with women would be part of the components making up the mixture. The story of how a talented youngster took his destiny in his hands, wading through thick and thin to become one of the mosttalked about items in the Nigerian music industry is nothing but a book of ironies, with interesting plots and suspense. This is essentially what has been captured by his latest video, Rainbow, which was released a few days ago. It opens with a taxi ride that leaves a certain lady reliving the good times that marked the singer’s fairy tale wedding which took place a few months ago in Eket, Akwa Ibom State and Dubai in United Arab Emirates, UAE. The passenger in the taxi tunes her phone video facility which transports her to Eket, the home town of Idibia’s bride.



The song is not only great, but has the possibilities of catching on amongst children with: Your love dey make me wonder; no one can put us asunder. Targeting this age bracket in every way, smacks of the drive to appeal commercially. This new strategy amongst Nigerian musicians to target kids with memorable refrains has paid off for many artistes and possibly would for Djinee. Away from the message, what Djinee has done with this song is making it as Highlife as possible. Certain lines in the song will also tell the audience that he has been learning a lot from the masters of this genre of music in Nigeria, both living and dead. The guitar works of this song, Wonder, very much brings the skills of Victor Uwaifo to mind, which is quite commendable. Certain aspects of the song also bring

This phase of the video presents very interesting spectacles at the traditional marriage ground, showing the dances, the fashion, the culture and even the geography of Eket, meaning that in one swoop, 2face has sold not only the music, which Rainbow is, but also other factors like fashion and culture. That is a tourism tool, which may have happened by accident. From Eket, the video takes its audience to Dubai where the second part of the marriage continued, highlighting some rare spectacles of Dubai, a city that is fast becoming a destination of choice for Nigerians. Watching 2face’s video, one will not be in doubt about why he shot the video in the first place. It is obvious that he wants to celebrate his union with Annie Macaulay, a lady that he has shared so many experiences–ugly and pleasant– with. Both in so many ways have complemented each other, living off each other, through thick and thin and rising to become one of the most-celebrated love stories in the

the vocal skills of late Rex Lawson and the pay off lines of Joe Nez, the artiste behind the popular highlife tune, Landlady, which made waves in the 60s to mind. That is a classic confirmation that Djinee has been doing a lot of absorption from the masters and the heart-warming thing is that he is adapting the lessons very well. The next song, Alright is, however, in its own class. It is Highlife with a touch of afro-pop and only Djinee can define what genre of song this is. Its lyrics are also fortified with rhymes and the vocal skills and delivery would remind one of 2face Idibia. For the audience, it would highlight the versatility of Djinee. It will also evoke imaginations about what collaboration on this song with the likes of 2face would have done to the song. But like every artistic effort, Djinee needs to vigorously promote this album, more than he has done in the past. Let him not rely on the glory of his past works. The time he has spent in artistic hibernation could make this whole effort appear like the work of a brand new artiste. Lacklustre attitude towards this may not augur well with his dreams for this work. If properly handled, his fans that have been waiting for something new from him would not have waited in vain.

nation’s entertainment industry. It is not, however, only the story of their hard times that makes this affair notable. In so many ways it is the fact that the union symbolises true love. And this is the reason: At a point when fame and fortune smiled on 2face, it also brought along other women who wanted a piece of his stardom. This resulted in many dalliances, heartbreaks and of course, children sired out of wedlock, a fact that became (arguably though) somewhat one of the low points of his career. But amidst all these controversies, 2Face finally decided to settle with Annie, the one with the most humble background, whom he had used as a model in his phenomenal song, African Queen. The reality of tying the knots with this African Queen will obviously intrigue a lot of women, who take it out on men for ‘using and dumping’ them. It is this point that will make this video the favourite for a lot of women who, incidentally, also play very vital roles in making buying decisions anyway. The video also has scenes of narratives, where 2face and Basketmouth appear to talk about the love story. That is nice and gives this work a documentary slant. It is commendable that this was achieved within the very limited time span. Rainbow may be purely a work of art when one looks at it, but it is going to raise some fundamental issues in 2face’s private life. He may have used the proverbial one stone to kill two birds, which makes economic sense, but what would this make of the children from the other women? Would they feel as loved? This, for a while will bring to the fore, how much of our personal life should form our business module.


Inside FCT

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Abuja residents shun number portability CHIDI UGWU


ver two months after the telecommunications industry regulator, Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, launched the Mobile Number Portability, MNP, residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, are yet to fully appreciate the significance of the concept. Inside FCT investigations reveal that despite the raging campaign sweeping through the country as network providers try to outsmart one another in announcing the possibility of migrating from one between network providers, the concept of MNP still face consumer apathy to the process in FCT. “I do not have sufficient information of mobile number portability and what it is meant for; so, I cannot comment on that”, Okey Nwadinobi, a businessman told our reporter during an encounter at the Transcorp Hotel, Abuja. In technical parlance, Mobile Number Portability is a process that allows subscribers to migrate from one network to another in search of quality service, while still retaining their original phone numbers irrespective of the network the subscriber chooses to migrate to. Optimistic that the portability launch would benefit both the subscribers and operators, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo told Inside FCT that MNP would lead to quality service and increased healthy competition among operators, in addition to the introduction of value added services by operators to attract more subscribers to their various networks. He said it would compel telecoms operators to be more accountable to subscribers and treat them as king, which they actually are. Ojobo added that it would enhance billing integrity, since operators would not want to lose customers who may be willing to shift to another network if they feel short-changed by the network’s billing system. But in spite of its benefits for subscribers as listed by Ojobo and the intense advertisements, many are yet to understand the need for migration. So popular has the new slang, “port” become, riding on the popularity of an advertisement showing a well-known comic-actor migrating from one network to another, that it is quickly finding a place in the local lingo. Yet,




PHONES OR THREE TO FOUR MOBILE PHONES FOR EACH OF THE NETWORKS AVAILABLE it was discovered that most people that use the slang do not even know it has to do with migration from their network to another. Mr. Solomon Odegba, a civil servant said he enjoys watching the ads on TV but does not care to understand the message behind the advertisements. He said even though the word ‘port’ has become very familiar in recent times, he did not know it has to do with mobile phones. Odegba said he may have no reason to migrate since he has about three different phone numbers from different network providers. Some say that apart from poor education about how the process works, some factors militating against MNP is its newness to the Nigerian environment, the processing periods and in particular, decrease in the quality of service offered by all the telecoms operators. Many Nigerians could be said to have already ported, as several go about with dual SIM mobile phones or an outright three to four mobile phones for each of the networks available. Apart from the likes of Nokia, Samsung and LG that have introduced dual SIM phones into the Nigerian market; new entrant into the market — Techno Mobile — has changed the dynamics of the market, with its recently launched four SIMs mobile phone; by so doing, compounding the woes of MNP adoption in the country. Inside FCT conducted a survey at Computer Village, Abuja, and reports that about 55 per cent of those buying phones go for dual SIM phones. Indeed, with so much noise made on the day of its launch in the country by the NCC many Nigerians are undecided about the process, because they already carry multiple mobile devices.

The new terminal at the Life Camp

Mini buses ban: ‘Agberos’ groan, relocate to terminal parks …as traffic situation worsens in the Municipal


otor parks loaders, popularly called ‘agberos’, are currently facing hard times in Abuja. Their agony is sequel to the ban of mini buses, commonly referred to as ‘araba’, that consequently put an end to their operations in the city’s municipal. The Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, had about a fortnight ago stopped the commercial green mini buses from plying the city’s municipal and consequently, introduced high-capacity mini buses instead. Prior to the ban, the loaders had invaded areas such as Berger, Area 1, Area 3 and AYA to forcefully demand money from drivers. Failure to offer such had often led to physical assaults, forceful damage of vehicles and unleashing of other punitive measures they deemed fit on residents. Also, violent attitudes such as free-for-all, harassments and molestations of commuters and vehicle owners had on several occasions been reported of them. These had often been done with impunity to the bewilderment of residents and visitors into the capital. Besides, sale of liquor, marijuana, India Hemp and other hard substances were also common at many of the parks such as Wuse, Area 1, Area 3 among others, given the heavy presence of the ‘agberos’ in these areas. Consequent upon the present transportation policy, these people now slither into the new vehicle terminals in the city. One of them who simply identified himself as Waheed told our reporter at the Life Camp terminal: “We are not finding things easy any longer. I believe government doesn’t want people like us to live in Abuja again. About two weeks ago when the commercial buses were asked to leave the roads, we knew things weren’t going to be easy. We looked very frustrated at the time. As I am talking to you, some of my colleagues who could farm have already taken on farming. “But, many of us cannot go to farm because we have realised that government wants us to leave the town. Whoever can stay at the new terminals will stay and whoever thinks the place cannot offer him his daily living may go back to his village. But, I am sure, life continues”, Waheed said assertively. The new transportation policy stipulates that mini buses convey passengers from Abaji/Gwagwalada to Giri Junction while the high-capacity buses bring the commut-

ers to town. Also, from Kubwa, the newlyintroduced buses convey passengers brought by the restricted mini buses from Suleja/ Madalla/Deidei communities into the city. Similarly, the terminal point for mini buses coming from Mararaba and its adjoining communities is Nyanya where the long buses are stationed to complete the journey into the centre of the capital. But, there have been concerns about the activities of the ‘agberos’ at the new terminals. One of the city’s residents, Olamide Jacob, who spoke with our reporter, opined that “We need to be very careful. The behaviour of those boys will be replicated at the new terminals, while their liquor and harddrugs suppliers will accompany them. The terminals might be another community of touts and miscreants if stringent security and administrative measures are not put in place by both government and transport workers at the terminals”. Meanwhile, traffic situation has worsened in the past few days in the Municipal. There has been unprecedented traffic on the city’s roads. Inside FCT findings showed that vehicles that had been left at home by residents who were accustomed to boarding commercial vehicles now join legions of cars on the roads within the city. However, this has not reflected in alleviating the suffering of hundreds of commuters who are found at various junctions helplessly in need of means of transportation. While the situation might be brought under control in the next few months should government show greater commitment, the number of high-capacity buses plying the roads in Abuja at the moment is a far cry from what is required to meet people’s demand. Conversely, it has been a season of harvest for taxi operators in the city since the policy became operational. Inside FCT observations within the capital showed that many private car owners now leave their offices to engage in transport services. But, this act is more pronounced when they are returning from work in the evening. Many of the “big men” are involved in this act, perhaps to save residents from long hours of waiting on the roads. There are fears, however, that the FCTA might sack all private commercial vehicles from the Municipal’s roads in the next six months to pave way for its planned taxis in the city.

National Mirror

Friday, June 14, 2013

Special Tribute



How National Mirror campaigned to get Fatai Rolling Dollar listed in Guinness World Record ADENRELE NIYI


t began as a seed of an idea… the notion that legendary octogenarian musician and Nigeria’s symbol of the indefatigable spirit of traditional urban music, Fatai Rolling Dollar, was living an uncommon and landmark career feat worthy of global recognition. Born Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju on July 22, 1926, National Mirror believed the history of World music – traditional and modern was incomplete and perhaps imbalanced if the amazing account of this 86-year-old multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer’s comeback from the abyss of music desolation failed to be narrated. From his outstanding vocal ranges, to his age-defying stage dexterity, song writing genius, mastery of traditional musical instruments (mostly self-taught) and even his famed virility (recent birth of a child lending credence to the lore), Fatai embodied the existential proof of the contemporaneous merging of periods. His ground-breaking timeless talent resurged in a season when the voices of new age music had nearly drowned the trado-modern ones and re-established him as a force in Nigerian music. Based on facts gleaned by following and documenting his personal and professional life in interviews, news items and articles, National Mirror initiated spirited moves to bring Fatai’s record making artistic achievements to the awareness of a credible international organisation which possessed the platform to immortalise the iconic singer’s contributions to and for global discourse on music. It was in this regard National Mirror, acting independently without Fatai’s knowledge but on his behalf, contacted the Guinness World Records, an annually published reference book contain-

ing a collection of world records, both human achievements and the extremes of the natural world, sending in a record claim for the artiste to be listed as the World’s Oldest Performing Musician (Male). To jumpstart our attempt, we signed on to the GWR website as member user. Sometime in June 2011, we completed our first online claim application on GWR’s website for which we did not receive a confirmation of receipt or correspondence after the mandatory waiting period of four weeks to allow the organisation treat applications. In the second week of September 2011, we entered a fresh claim presuming the first entry may have run afoul of some of the claim filing guidelines. In both claims, we stated the facts of Fatai’s eligibility for a Guinness World Record listing, particularly since NM had researched and discovered no world record entry on the GWR appeared for a World Oldest Musician – living or dead. We were making a claim proposal in a previously uncontested or unfiled category and thus, Fatai stood the laudable chance of setting the record to beat in this specific category (male). Our proposal was passionate and emphatic; “His outstanding achievements, essentially on account of age and consistency, are a demonstration of unparalleled musical accomplishment that is verifiable and therefore deserves a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Oldest Performing Musician”, it stated. In record setting procedures, GWR has a team of adjudicators whose responsibility it is to thoroughly verify the validity of a record claim or attempt. Knowing this procedural condition, we likewise demonstrated faith and commitment by declaring our willingness to bear the expenses of organising a series of performance gigs, if necessary, at which Fatai Rolling Dollar and his band would naturally headline the shows. On the 16th day of the same month, GWR sent an email confirming receipt of our record proposal and it being “transferred to our internal system. You do not need to do anything further at this stage. We will process your claim and give an answer to your application in four (4) weeks…”, the email read. Although, the confirmation email from GWR forewarned that claim-specific research sometimes extended further than four weeks, it did say if enquiries were made as to the status of a record applica-

tion, relevant information would be given. Through the developing story, this writer transversed the length of Lagos chasing relevant information and details, desperately calling on favours and receiving enormous support from the arts and culture sector. Additionally, in line with our campaign, National Mirror took the pleasure of inviting him as a special guest to our first anniversary Publisher’s Nite’ event which held at NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja. Finally on January 19, 2012, Guinness World Record sent an email putting a final lid to our campaign. Excerpts of the email read: “Thank you for your application to attempt the record ‘World’s Oldest Performing Musician (Male)’. The current record (current as at the date of this letter) is: Minimum requirement: 90 years old. Attached are the Specific Guidelines which detail the rules and requirements which must be followed during the record attempt. It is your responsibility to ensure that all participants in the record attempt are aware of the contents of ...Specific Guidelines. Please be aware that these are the current Specific Guidelines and record you have to beat. However, you are responsible for obtaining the most up-to-date information on this record, as Guinness World Records will not directly inform you of any changes. Guinness World Records may update the Record Guidelines and a new record may be set at any time. We advise that you reconfirm the most up-to-date information before staging a record attempt”. Rolling Dollar died on Wednesday morning in a Surulere-Lagos hospital after battling ill-health for more than a month. In life or death, Fatai encapsulated the artiste who uninhibitedly abandoned himself in his passion –creating musical showpieces. Fatai combined the skills of instrument mastery with the unabashed dexterity of a showman who lived for the klieg-lights. On stage, the octogenarian defied age-related arthritic limitations to contort his supple body in dance patterns that left audiences around the world spell-bound regardless of the number of times they had seen the act. In memory of this first-class showman, Friday Flavour presents a six-page tribute capturing our 2011 interview with Fatai Rolling Dollar in the heat of the World campaign among other stories.


Special Tribute

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


‘Why I deserve a Guinness World Record’ I believe I’m the oldest performing musician in the world When I’m on stage, I become a young person Performing takes me to another world

In December 2011, in the heat of National Mirror’s spirited Guinness World Record campaign, we went in pursuit of the legendary highlife singer, Fatai Rolling Dollar, to hear his view about the on-going Guinness World Records campaign on his behalf. In this 2011 interview with ADENRELE NIYI, the then 85-year-old exuded unbridled confidence at his chances, while also sharing other details of his amazing music career. Excerpts: In a recent interview with Evang. Ebenezer Obey, he talked about your skills on the Agidigbo. What drew you to the Agidigbo drum in particular? When I wanted to start music, the Agidigbo was my first instrument. It was our fore-fathers’ musical instrument before the introduction of other instruments by the white men to Nigerians. The farmers and hunters played it during naming ceremonies and house warming, enjoying it with palm wine. In Nigeria today, I’m the only one using it, others have forgotten it. Some Nigerians don’t even know what is called Agidigbo. I still make use of it while performing, even while recording my songs because it’s our forefathers’ music, it shouldn’t be forgotten. How were you able to play Agidigbo with five fingers when others can at most manage with three fingers? You know why? If you want to do something, you must have so much love for it. I loved Agidigbo before I even started playing it. I still love everything about it; I can play it in bass or as a talking drum. I knew how to play it before I started playing Konga or the Bongo. It is already a part of me, I’m the father of Agidigbo. Is it this love that motivated your learning to play with five fingers? Agidigbo has five strings; so if I’m using three fingers, I would not get the tune I want. I want it to talk like a human being, so that people who understand real Yoruba language can get the message and interpret it to others that don’t understand The advantage of using five fingers is that it backs you up. But when you use three, you cannot back your-

self unless you are backed with another sound while you play. When you use five fingers, you can play Agidigbo alone because you create the background tune and the solo. Tell us about the Faaji Agba group you are a member of and your relationship with the originator, Kunle Tejuosho of Jazzhole Records. Smiles…We started Faaji Agba 10 years ago because in Nigeria, even the government doesn’t know the value of music. When a student fails music abroad, he fails the whole course. That is why you can’t hear a white man playing nonsense as we’re doing here. If you want to be a good musician, you must learn the craft. If you don’t learn, you might only be fortunate to release an album as a singer, but it can only sell for a short period. Music is just like the gear of a car; if you have your music, you can drive to anywhere in the world. You can also deal with any genre or style of music, but if you don’t know much about music, you can only do a oneway job like the hip- hop artistes in Nigeria are doing now. Some of them are good, but they don’t know what music is all about; they don’t even have the key to the music industry. People should tell you who you are, you should not praise yourself. I will make sure I do something significant for the music industry. Unfortunately, government does not want to support and that is not making me happy. In the old days, around the 50s, government contributed to music. Then, if you waxed an album, you must submit a copy to the government to listen to and approve or reject for public consumption. But nowadays, you can record an album and sell it even without government’s awareness.

As for Kunle Tejuosho, he is our sponsor and our record label owner. Are you saying artistes of today are only after the monetary rewards of music? Yes, they are after money, not the message directed at listeners and lessons that can be learnt from their songs. I think the message in a song should be what would sell the song. When we started Faaji Agba, we played for big personalities, but now, we even go on music tours around the world. We just returned from New York about two months ago and hope to go to Italy next year. They are expecting us in Italy because they have all our instruments in stock; Agidigbo, Konga, Horns, Guitar and others. We put all these instruments together to form African music. How did Faaji Agba’s performance at the 2011 Brooklyn Festival go? Laughs…Oh my God, you made me remember New York. I had a wonderful experience and a marvellous performance. We had such a large crowd that even the camera could not cover the span. This crowd included Americans? Yes, Americans, Europeans and Africans were in the audience because it was a festival organised by the government. It was just like my performance in 2004 at Morocco, because they were wondering how an old man could be performing so wonderfully. What special thing did you do in your performance? My performance was very fantastic, the audience

National Mirror

Special Tribute

Friday, June 14, 2013



Rolling Dollar playing the Agidigbo.

L-R: Shina Ayinde Bakare, Fatai and Samson Adegbite before their gig at the Shrine, Harlem


loved it. Even CNN, which covered the event, kept showing my performance continuously for two weeks. When I’m on stage, I become a young person. Performing is just like magic for me; it’s always like I’m in another world entirely and I don’t want to come back to reality until I finish performing. While on stage or whenever I’m in front of a large audience, I’m always inspired and feel on top of the world. I play with all the strength in me and they keep wondering if I’m really 85; it’s the blessing of God. As an elderly person, do you feel ache or discomfort when performing on stage so vigorously? If I don’t stress myself, I won’t get tired. When I’m under inspiration, it makes me like a spirit and that is why my performances are memorable. I have so many herbs which I take after my performance. Do you have a massage therapist or a traditional method of massaging your body after strenuous acts? Yes, I even had one yesterday, because I have shows this weekend. I did the massage to get myself ready and I also go to doctors for checkups. I have medical and traditional doctors and I combine herbs and drugs together. Both doctors work on my body; this is what adds to my strength. What is your impression of our attempt to get you listed in the Guinness World Record as the World’s Oldest Performing Musician (Male)? I want to be among record holders, so I would love my name to be in the Guinness World Record because I believe I’m the oldest performing musician in the world right now. I’m still very strong and agile and if it’s God’s wish for me, I’ll be very happy because I’ve tried for the music industry in Nigeria. If you are requested to undergo a safe medical test to verify your age before being recognised as the oldest performing musician, would you agree?

As a young boy, Fatai attended the Catholic owned St. Patrick School in Reclamation Road, Ikoyi-Lagos.

He finished Standard Six in 1944 while the Second World War was on.

Shortly afterwards, he took up apprenticeship as a mechanic before finding music along the way

He was the recipient of 37 locally and internationally recognised awards which include:

MTN PLAY and GO Award for Nigeria’s 1st Gold Record (2003).

Music Legend Award (2009) given by Association of Juju Musicians of Nigeria (Lagos Chapter).

Evergreen Award for Won Keresi Number (2009) given by Nigeria Music Award.

Award for Professional Staying Power (with N50,000 cash prize(2001) given by Music Foundation of Nigeria.

Best Highlife Artiste (2005) given by MCN Awards for Musical Excellence in Nigeria.

Merit Award given by Eko Pride Award

After the 2003 release of his Fatai Rolling Dollar Returns album, he followed up with the May 2004 release Won Kere Si Number, a chartbusting album and Yegidi.

Fatai played seven different musical instruments proficiently namely; bongo, conga and tomtom drums. He also played the accordion, guitar, talking drums and the indigenous ‘Agidigbo’ drum.

The native Agidigbo style is at the heart of his works, of course but in “Eraya” a track on ‘Return’ he paid homage to the legendary songwriter Ambrose Campbell with a transatlantic blues.

In 2007, he released the nostalgic 13-track album titled Papa Rise Again

As a veteran flagbearer of his genre, Fatai had been given numerous honorary awards; feted by governments, institutions and individuals.

He regularly performed at music festivals and concerts in Lagos and around the world.

The musician was one of the veterans who make up the Faaji Agba music collective which performed at the prestigious 2011 Brooklyn Festival, the largest annual festival in New York, on invitation by Bric Arts Media.

In 2012, Fatai commenced arrangement to build a music school for fresh and budding talents.

The Lagos State Governor gave him a twobedroom flat in honour of his contribution to music in Nigeria.

Fatai and his young wife, Zainab.

Why not? I know when I came to this world, but I don’t know when I’m leaving the world. I know the world will be wondering how this old man is getting younger everyday, but that is how God created me. I’ve suffered a lot and I know what poverty means. But now, God has transformed me into a new being. You can’t find someone of 50 or 60 years still doing this job excellently. It’s very rare. Which why I said I was specially made by God. I want people to know that God of yesterday is God of today and forever. He has the power to create and destroy; He is my strength.

anywhere in Nigeria; but there is nobody to sponsor the project. I’m doing it with my money, but I still need about N1.5m. The little income I get from shows abroad goes into the project. It’s located in Ikorodu-Lagos and it will be a means for remembrance after my demise. Meanwhile, I can’t force any of my children to go into music, but I’ll support any of them who shows interest.

What legacy are you hoping to leave behind for your children regardless of the outcome of the world record attempt? I’m doing a project, but the government doesn’t want intervene; it’s called Fatai Rolling Dollar Foundation. I want to establish a school which is still under construction, but it remains half of a plot for it to be completed. I’m also putting up a studio for upcoming artistes who are helplessly roaming about without knowing where to go for help. The studio is where they can learn to play old and new musical instruments starting with basic ones like the Maraca. At the end, they will get a certificate signed by the Lagos State Government and they will be able to perform

Will you give birth to more children or are you going to adopt some family planning method? Not at all; I wouldn’t do family planning because I don’t want to go against the natural law of God. If it is His wish for me to have more children, I’m ready.

How old is your youngest child? My youngest child is one year and two months old.

Are you working on an album soon? Yes, but three weeks ago, I launched an album called Better Life. It contains gospel songs and people are wondering why because I’m not a Christian. I’m happy I surprised my fans. But composing the songs was as a challenge I took on. Since I attended a Christian school, it was easy for me. I’m working on another album which will come out next year; it is called Opa kii paa Agogo.


Special Tribute

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


The story of a legendary musician A little over three decades ago, Fatai Rolling Dollar was nothing but a ‘hasbeen’; a washed out and run down ‘former’ musician, whose only connection to the glorious past were possibly the haunting memories trapped in his mind. Every other tangible feature of life as he used to know and live it had all become dust and ashes consumed by a merciless inferno of death and destruction. Like the mythical Phoenix, the traditional urban music star rose out of the ashes of devastation to embody one of the most touching comeback stories in the history of modern music. On Wednesday, Fatai died at the age of 86 unable to fulfil an expressed desire for the Guinness World Record but his life story remains compelling as ADENRELE NIYI narrates in this piece.


ccasionally, as visitors drew up to the entrance gate of the old Sports Complex in Lagos sometime in the 1980s, they picked up sounds of singing emanating from the security post mounted there. The singing, in itself, was not unusual but the singer’s voice quality, – a rich, throaty timbre –and the song choices, a blend of popular highlife and folklorish tunes stopped all who heard it in their tracks. The singer was not Fatai Rolling Dollar, the 1950s, 60s and 70s Agidigbo exponent and music wunderkind. This voice belonged to Fatai Olagunju, an employee of the Lagos state government tasked with safeguarding the sports premises and ensuring regulated and seamless movement in and out of the sports complex. Yet, even in his nonglamourous office of security guard, Fatai showed flashes of his old artistry and the showstopper quality which resulted in many questioning his background. For those who tarried long enough to hear before going on to their businesses at the complex, Fatai eagerly recounted his story; the musical adventures and the crushing fall. He told of gigs around the thriving live music club circuits in Lagos, his rare ability to play different musical instruments and dropped names of close associations some of whom were either renowned music personalities or coincidentally at that time, were already rising music stars in their own right. Very few believed his incredulous tales, for so they sounded; shadow-chasing tales of a dirt poor, aging man in his late fifties suffering from delusions of grandeur. Plausible story or no, Fatai could not erase the memory, many of which were extremely painful, of who he was. The scornful demons treated him with mockery and derision during the day and filled his restless night sleep with bloodcurdling dreams. He had lost every person he loved and glory he ever attained or possessed; each day brought a relentless hammering by misery and no respite or hope of one. Completely bereft of nuclear familial ties and drained of energy to fight on, Fatai walked up to the Carter Bridge in Lagos Island intending to drown himself, his incomprehensible travails and failures in the Lagoon. If the Good Samaritan who happened along, for some wicked twist of fate, had been delayed for mere minutes, no one would be reading this today. Fatai would have gone down as a sad, beleaguered talented soul buried hundreds


FATAI COULD NOT ERASE THE MEMORY, MANY OF WHICH WERE EXTREMELY PAINFUL, OF WHO HE WAS of metres under the sea and contributing in no momentous way to the discourse of music locally or internationally. To fully grasp the depths of despair he sunk to, a proper understanding of how one of the artistes who gave definition to Nigerian traditional music and shaped its direction in the 50s and 60s, experienced a slump so severe. Born Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju in Lagos on July 22, 1926 into a royal lineage of Ede descent, the infant’s forbearers boasted of great cultural antecedents in craftsmanship and hunting but distanced themselves from Western education with the sceptical reserve of the period. Ede is a Yoruba town of south western Nigeria lying on the Osun, the river famously linked to Yemoja, the river goddess. Though Fatai had his elementary education and formative years in Lagos, he was to relocate to Ede 16 years later following his father’s death to partake in Ede’s cultural offerings. In this small rustic town, lacking the verve of colonial and rapidly growing metropolitan Lagos, the artiste

gradually emerged as he sought self-expression restlessly drifting from one socio-cultural group to the other. Already nicknamed ‘rolling dollar’ by school mates because he was bestowed with the honour of rolling a two-and-ahalf shilling piece (a dollar) to choose sides for the football matches at school break, Fatai’s chequered journey to artistic prominence had begun. In the 40s, during the years of hard graft, he entered the Marines or as he puts in lilting English ‘I become a seaman’ for the colonial powers ruling in the port city of Lagos. Fatai worked the Palm Line that went down to Congo, Libreville, Luanda and Port Noire. Each stop, he immersed himself in the people and cultures letting these extrinsic influences reflect in different rhythms on the Agidigbo, an instrument he learnt untaught, and played in exchange for Lucky Strike cigarettes. He continued to play his evolving brand of music after being discharged from the Marine, meeting two people in 1953 who were cataclysmic to the breakthrough in his professional music career. Master guitarist J.O Araba and tenor saxophonist Ishola Willie Payne teamed up with Fatai’s throaty tenor and original drumbeats to form the musical group J.O Araba and his Rhythm Blues. They played at the exclusive Island Club in Lagos. In 1957, he formed an eight-piece band called Fatai Rolling Dollar and his African Rhythm Band and they recorded several seven-inch vinyl singles for Phillips West Africa Records. In this line-up was a young budding star, Ebenezer Obey, who played Maracas in the band. They

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Sha’ban 5, 1434AH Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


Call to Worship On the authority of Anas bin Malik, the servant of the Messenger of Allah, the prophet said: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” RELATED BY BUKHARI AND MUSLIM


The Qolsarif Mosque

he Qolsarif Mosque located in Kazan Kremlin, was reputed to be, at the time of its construction, the largest mosque in Russia and in Europe outside of Istanbul. Originally, the mosque was built in the Kazan Kremlin in the 16th century. It was named Usamah Ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with after Qolsarif, who served there. Qolsarif died them both) said: “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, with his numerous students while defending I do not see you fasting in any other month like Kazan from Russian forces in 1552. It is believed you fast in Sha’ban.’ He said, ‘That is a month that the building featured minarets, both in the to which people do not pay attention, between form of cupolas and tents. Its design was tradi- Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which tional for Volga Bulgaria, although elements of deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. early Renaissance and Ottoman architecture I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am could have been used as well. In 1552, during fasting.’” (Nasa’i) the storming of Kazan, it was destroyed by Ivan The Terrible. Tatar scholars speculate as to whether some elements of Qolsarif Mosque can be seen in Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow (8 minarets, a central cupola, not typical of Russian architecture). Since 1996, the mosque has been rebuilt in Kazan Kremlin, although its look is decisively modern. Its inauguration on July 24, 2005 marked the beginning of celebrations dedicated to the Millennium of Kazan. It can accommodate 6,000 worshipers. Several countries contributed to the fund that was set up to build Qolsarif Mosque, these include Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Qolsarif is considered to be one of the most important symbols of Tatar aspirations. Nowadays, the mosque predominantly serves as a museum of Islam. At the same time during the major Muslim celebrations, thousands of people gather there to pray. The Qolsarif complex was envisioned to be an important cornerstone of Kazan’s architectural landscape. Besides the main mosque building, it includes a library, publishing house Qolsarif Mosque and Imam’s office.



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Countdown to Ramadan 28

Significance of Sha’ban 28

Humility: A pre-requisite for patience and prayers


nd seek help with patience and prayer; and this indeed is hard except for the humble in spirit, who know for certain that they will meet their Lord, and that to Him will they return.’ (Q2:46 – 47) In order to attain divine nearness, the basic matter that these verses, and many others in the Holy Qur’an, draw our attention to is humility and humbleness. The basis of all the commandments necessary to attain pleasure of God is humility and humbleness. Or, it could be said that following commandments of God takes one to humility and humbleness and these traits are certainly inculcated in a true believer if he follows God’s commandments. Elucidating ‘…and it increases humility in them.’ (17:110) the

Every Friday with


Ahmadiyya Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) says that the Word of God enhances humility and meekness in them. When a believer claims to believe in God and to read the word of God and says that he follow it in his practices, he cannot truly accomplish these unless he is humble and meek CONTINUED ON PAGE 30

‘Save lives, donate blood today’



Call to Worship


his year’s Ramadan is about twenty five days away. In no time will it start and end. Time indeed flies! What has been your preparation? How do you intend to make it better than that of last year? Now, we are in Sha‘baan, the last month before that of Ramadan. Its arrival announces that the glorious month of Ramadan is around the corner. Our noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), according to Aisha, one of his wives, never fasted much days as he does in the first half of this month of Sha‘ban. This is a form of preparation towards the month of fasting. He used to relax and stop fasting in the last fifteen days before Ramadan. Another thing one is expected to start doing is to make intention to fast in a better way than that of the last Ramadan. This, you do by deeply feeling nostalgic to be alive when the fast starts. You should write out all your plans or projects for the coming Ramadan. This, among many others, can include the number of times you intend to complete reading the glorious Qur’an, the charitable activities you intend to embark upon, the family members you want to visit, etc. Have a Ramadan diary to outline all your plans. If you can genuinely do this, you will be rewarded; even if you do not eventually participate in the fast in the event of death. It is Allah (SWT) who determines who will be alive or wit-

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Sha’ban 5, 1434AH Friday, June 14, 2013



ness the entire month. You should also intend to perform Umrah therein as its reward is equal to that of Hajj. You also prepare for Ramadan in Sha‘ban by ensuring that you read books or listen to recoded materials on Ramadan. You should also start preliminary living in Ramadan by deliberately engaging in some actions. You can devote some hours or days to seclude yourself in the mosque as a kind of Itikaf; increase the number of pages you read from your Qur’an daily; be more punctual at Salat; buy fruits or prepare meals for those who fast, etc. You should also mark the coming Ramadan with a special ‘sadaqatun jaariyah’, that is, a flowing charity. You can do this by scheduling specific things you want to do for people or mosques. You can decide to send somebody on Umrah; you can buy Qur’an for Muslim organizations and mosques; you can buy Islamic literatures for individuals or mosques,etc. You should realise that the greatest preparation is the one before Ramadan starts. If you want to travel abroad,

Significance of Sh’aban


ha’ban is the name of the eigth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadan. Muslims always neglect it, believing that it is meant for the elderly ones. We should note that anyone, especially women, who has any missed fasts to make up has to make them up before the next Ramadan comes. It is not permissible to delay such until after the Ramadan, except in cases of necessity. Sha’ban is a kind of training for the Ramadan fast. If one fasts in Sha’ban, he will have gotten used to fasting and he will feel strong and energetic when Ramadan comes. Sha’ban is like an introduction to Ramadan and it has some things in common with Ramadan, such as fasting, recitation of the Qur’an and giving alms to the needy. The holy Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) says that Sha’ban is my month, Rajab is Allah’s month and Ramadan is the month of my followers. How fortunate is this month that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) said that; this is my month? This is the blessed month in which Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) used to fast more than any month except Ramadan. This report indicates that fasting in the month of Sha’ban, though not obligatory, is so meritorious that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) did not like to miss it. It should be kept in mind that the fasts of Sha’ban are for those persons only who are capable of keeping them without causing deficiency in the obligatory fasts of Ramadan. Therefore, if one fears that after fasting in Sha’ban, he will lose strength or

National Mirror

freshness for the fasts of Ramadan and will not be able to fast in it properly, he should not fast in Sha’ban. This is based on the fact that the fasts of Ramadan, being obligatory, are more important than the optional fasts of Sha’ban. That is the more reason why Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) forbids Muslims from fasting one or two days immediately before the commencement of Ramadan. The holy Prophet encourages Muslims to fast three times in the beginning, three in the middle and three at the end of Sha’ban in order to qualify for reward that is meant for seventy prophets. The Holy Prophet likened the blessings in this month to the blessings which Almighty Allah has bestowed on him over all other prophets and messengers. It is on record that Allah promises forgiveness for any Muslim who desires to fast in the month. Allah’s blessings are abundant in this month. In conclusion, Muslims must see fasting in the month of Sha’ban as a Sunnah that needs to be emulated. This, however, should not debar them from observing five times daily prayers at the appointed time, follow dictates of Almighty Allah as stated in the holy Qu’ran and teachings of the holy Prophet as enshrined in the Hadiths. Combination of all these will lead to higher rewards both on this earth and on the Day of Judgement. Sheikh Abdul Ganniyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/National Chief Missioner of Jublatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society Of Nigeria (JUBFAT)

you will definitely not play with your travel documents! How then will you start Ramadan and not prepare adequately? Start now. Let the message and preparation for it dominate your discussions everywhere you go. Get its posters pasted in your homes, offices, cars, etc. This is the best time you can sponsor programme on the televisions to remind and enlighten people on the dos and don’ts of Ramadan. We must all realise that Ramadan is special in everything. Allah (SWT) alones rewards your deeds to the maximum. The reward for engaging in voluntary actions is equal to that of the obligatory; while the latter is also rewarded about seventy times and even

more; the night of decree exists therein alone and one is granted reward for a deed of over eighty three years; the devils are chained; gates of hell are locked while those of paradise are opened and so on and so forth. It is indeed a favour, mercy and blessing fasting in the month of Ramadan. I wish you a blessed and fulfilling Ramadan ahead. Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy


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Excellence of learning (3) God says: Oh the children of Adam! I have sent down to you raiment to cover your shame and adornment to you, but the raiment of piety is best; Q 7:25


he Holy Prophet was once asked: Oh Prophet of God, which action is best? Knowledge. He was then questioned: Which knowledge do you mean? He said: Knowledge about God. They said: We ask you about action but you speak of knowledge. The Prophet said: With your knowledge of God, a few actions will suffice and your ignorance about God will not suffice even though actions are numerous. He said: On the Day of Resurrection, God will raise up the worshippers and the learned men. He will say: Oh the congregation of the learned men, I have not imbued you with My knowledge but for My knowledge about you. I have not placed knowledge in you in order to punish you. Go, I have forgiven you. Sayings of the sages: Hazrat Ali said to Kamil: Oh Kamil, knowledge is better than wealth. Knowledge guards you but you are guarding wealth. Knowledge dispenses justice, while wealth seeks justice. Wealth decreases with expense while knowledge increase with expense. He said: A learned man is better than one who prays and fights in the way of God. When a learned man dies, such a calamity befalls on Islam which cannot be removed except by his successor. Hazrat Ali said in poems: Glory is due to none other than to the learned. Guided are they and proofs to the seekers of guidance. Everybody is honoured proportionate to his knowledge, But the illiterate are disgraced, as enemies of the learned. Acquire knowledge, you will be immortal. All men are dead, only the learned are alive. The sage Ibn Aswad said: Nothing is

Reflections until Fajr with

Ustadh Abdulwaarith Muslim arts, life, poetry, insight etc.

more honourable than knowledge. While the kings rule over the people, the learned rule over the kings. Hazrat Ibn Mobarak was asked: Who are men? He replied: The learned, He was again asked: Who are kings? He replied: The ascetics. He was again asked: Who are the meanest? He said: Those who exchange the religion for the world. He did not consider anybody as a man except the learned, knowledge distinguishes men from the lower animals and it is only for knowledge that men are honoured. This honour is not due to a man for his physical strength, because a camel is physically stronger than a man. This honour is not for his large body as the body of an elephant is bigger than that of a man. This honour is not on account of his bravery as a ferocious beast is braver than a man. This honour is not for his strength of too much eating as the stomach of an oxe is bigger than that of a man. This honour is not for his strength of sexual passion as a sparrow has got more strength for coition than that of a man. This honour of a man is on account of his knowledge and intellect. The Holy Prophet said: Whoever has been given the Quran and thinks that any one has been given something better, he has degraded what God has exalted. Once the saint Fathul Musolli was asked: Does not a sick man die for want of food, drink and medicine? The people said: Yes, He said: Such is the condition of heart. When the heart is not given wisdom and knowledge for three consecutive days, it dies. It is a veritable truth that the food of the heart is knowledge and wisdom. TO BE CONTINUED

National Mirror

Call to Worship

Friday, June 14, 2013 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Sha’ban 5, 1434AH


Women, Salat in Ramadan



hildren can be quite amusing. I was watching with keen interest how my children were busy cutting cardbords, painting and decorating the whole house in preparation for Ramadan! As the homemakers, how prepared are we for the coming glorious month? As many Muslims all over the world are counting down to Ramadan with high hopes to do many acts of ibadah

in order to get maximum reward of the holy month, Muslim women have more loads and duties. We have cases of many women cooking or doing something else during the time for Salat. What an error! This is why we need to plan ahead and be able to adequately manage our time. As women, we have more duties in Ramadan, especially for working mothers. Hence, we must be ready to arrange and coordinate diversity of activities in the month. We need to help our children and others around us understand what Ramadan is all about. Planning to beat traffic, especially for those working on Lagos Island while staying

...Zakir Naik delivers lecture in Lagos


r. Zakir Naik, the world famous orator on Islam & comparative religion will be in Lagos, courtesy of the Islamic Platform of Nigeria. Dr. Naik founded the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai (Bombay), India. Naik says he was inspired by Ahmed Deedat, an Islamic preacher, having met him in 1987. Naik is sometimes referred to as “Deedat plus”, a

label given to him by Deedat himself. Naik says that his goal is to “concentrate on the educated Muslim youth who have become apologetic about their own religion and have started to feel the religion is outdated.” Venue is the National Stadium, SurulereLagos on Saturday and Sunday, 15th and 16th of JUNE, 2013 between 10am- 1:30pm daily.

2013 Hajj: Ogun organises 5-Day medical screening FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA


he Ogun State Muslim Pilgrims’ Welfare Board (MPWB) has concluded arrangements to conduct inoculation/ medical screening for all successful applicants hoping to embark on the 2013 holy pilgrimage. A press statement issued and signed in Abeokuta, the state capital by the Information Officer of the board, Qudus Kafidipe, quoted the Secretary of the board, Alhaji Sefiu Rasheed as saying that the medical screening exercise became necessary

as part of the measures towards achieving a hitch free Hajj exercise in 2013. Alhaji Qudes further stated that the screening exercise is scheduled to commence from Monday 24th to Friday 28th June, 2013 as it would afford the board the opportunity to gather information that will guide the state in attending to the health needs of the pilgrims while on Hajj. He added that the exercise, which is a follow up to the just concluded screening exercise, was part of the prerequisites for the 2013 Hajj exercise as prescribed by the National Hajj Commission for prospec-

tive pilgrims. He noted that all intending pilgrims must ensure they partake in the exercise so as not to forfeit their slots, as it remains an essential part of the earnest preparation and requirements for pilgrims hoping to embark on the exercise. The executive secretary maintained that the state government has put adequate measures in place towards ensuring qualitative welfare for all pilgrims from the state, adding that efforts have been intensified to ensure that it retains its number one enviable position among other participating states.

Lagos Cremation Law: Search for missing persons –MURIC AISHA TITILAYO


ollowing the signing of the Lagos State Cremation Bill into Law, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on Lagos citizens to avoid the wrath of the Law by searching for missing family members and friends everywhere including the mortuaries and ensuring they claim their corpses early enough as it will only affects corpses left unattended to and notices will be given before cremation. In a press release signed by the Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, he said that both Christians and Muslims were united in their opposition to the bill, yet government went ahead to sign it into Law.

“This Law is not expected to affect Muslims at all, since they are not known to leave their dead ones in hospital mortuaries. Burial rites in Islam necessitate urgency and precision.” He noted that the news of a Muslim’s death must be spread quickly to enable friends and families gather for the funeral and earn spiritual rewards. “Once a Muslim dies, people around close his/her eyes and the corpse’s arms and legs are stretched early enough to prevent the effect of rigor motis. The outer garments of the deceased are removed and covered with a clean one, preferably white. The words ‘Bismillahi wa ‘ala milat rasulullahi (in Allah’s name and in the religion of Allah’s messenger) will be repeated

while doing this. Chapter 36 of the Holy Qur’an is recited around the dead body. The body is bathed before it is shrouded. This bathing is called Ghuslu. Men will bathe men and women will bathe women. However, a husband can bathe his wife and vice versa. The body is then shrouded and a funeral prayer is conducted for him/ her. This prayer is called Salat al-janazah.” Prof. Akintola went further to explain that Islam permits quiet weeping but forbids wailing over the loss of a loved one. “It is clear from the above procedure that Muslims have great regard for their dead ones and this Cremation Law has a remote possibility of directly affecting Lagos Muslims.”


on the mainland, is another challenge. So, let us get our kitchen prepared; prepare different ingredients for meals before Ramadan, so that in Ramadan, what we need to do is just to do the final steps. For example, for those who still have access to constant electricity supply, we can keep a good amount of washed and spiced fish, meat and chicken in the freezer and on-


s people all over the world mark the Blood Donor Day today, it has been observed that many people are still ignorant of the essence of blood donation. However, it must be noted that voluntary blood donors are life savers! As a result, all of us must be involved by being regular voluntary donors and also encourage others to do so. We should always live with the impression that; “Blood saves lives, safe blood starts with me.” The broad objectives as agreed with WHO are to promote non-remunerated blood donation throughout the world, focus national efforts on improving the safety and adequacy of national blood supplies by promoting a substantial increase in the number of safe, voluntary non-remunerated blood donors who give blood regularly, as well as provide a global platform to celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood voluntarily, for altruistic reasons and without any monetary reward. For those who are willing to donate blood voluntarily, but are usually discouraged by some healthworkers demanding for screening fees, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris has promised to look into this as

ions, garlic, tomato sauce and fresh fruit juice in fridge while dried fish, crayfish and others are readily available. It has been observed that we can actually waste a lot of time searching for items, as a result, let us keep our home organized This way, you can get things easier and save time. Also, we need to make it clear to family and friends that Ramadan is a very special time to give more attention to acts of ibadah. Get the kids involved, share duties among them and tell them; “don’t say tomorrow, if you have a task, do it immediately.” More importantly, let us take some rest, eat healthy food and avoid eating junk foods.

‘Save lives, donate blood today’ the state is determined to ensure that healthworkers move from era of treatment to care of patients. In addition, for women who are scared of donating blood as a result of their monthly cycle, assurance has been given that any woman with 12.5grams of blood and above can conveniently do so. However, the blood donation will not be carried out during menstruation. Also, breastfeeding and pregnant women are advised not to donate blood. Dr. Idris reiterated the fact that Lagos State must be a state where only safe blood is transfused in all appropriate health facilities. According to him, the largest users of blood each year is the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G). “Currently, only approximately 8% of all the blood transfused is from voluntary donations! This is a far cry from the 100% target set by WHO for the whole world to achieve by 2020. It may be you; it may be me who will be next in line requiring blood? It may be our relatives, let us cultivate the habit of donating blood voluntarily. This can be done in any of the general hospitals around us.”

The theme for this year is; “Blood donation as a gift that saves lives” and the slogan for the campaign is; “Give the gift of life: donate blood”. This year, the WBDD celebration will be held today 14th June at the LCCI Hall, Dr. Nurudeen Olowopopo Drive, Alausa Ikeja at 10 am. Her Excellency, Dame Abimbola Fashola is the Special Guest of Honour. The Guest Speaker is Brigadier General Tilewa Amusu, Chief Consultant Haematologist, Military Hospital, Yaba. As a build up to this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, an essay competition was held in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Education among Senior Secondary School students on the topic: “Blood Saves Lives. Safe Blood Starts With Me.” This has helped in sensitizing these young ones as they researched the topic in depth. The first three winners will receive plaques. Each of the first 60 students will receive a certificate of participation. Wellmeaning organizations and individuals can also sponsor more Club 25 members, who are low-risk voluntary donors to do so regularly. So, let us give the gift of life!

HEWS Foundation offers free Cleft Lip/Palate Surgery


ealth, Education, Work and Shelter (HEWS) Foundation will be offering free Cleft Lip/ Palate surgery mission for up to 20 Patients slated for the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital(LASUTH), Ikeja between the 24th and 27th of June 2013. In a press release signed by the Foundation’s Vice-President, Mrs. Shola Soji-John, she said that the primary mission is to help pull people out of poverty, ignorance, disease and homelessness by providing grants/scholarships, and micro-credit to indigent Nigerians. “Our

flagship project in the Health sector is in the area of providing Free Cleft Lip/Palate and Benign Jaw Tumour surgeries to indigent Nigerians especially children, who were born and are suffering with the congenital defect of Cleft Lips & Palate.” Available statistics shows that there are hundreds of thousands of children in Nigeria who are struggling through life with a Cleft lip/ palate. Most of these children will never be able to speak or eat properly and some will go through their entire lives without being able to smile. The greatest tragedy is that

virtually every one of these children can be helped with surgery that takes as little as 45 minutes but for the fact that majority of them are too poor and cannot afford to pay for the surgery. This is the eighth in the series of H.E.W.S. Foundation Free Surgery program in almost three years of her existence. The program will be declared open by the Chief Medical Director, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Dr. Wale Oke, supported by the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager of Sahara Energy Group and other dignitaries.


Call to Worship

Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Sha’ban 5, 1434AH Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Humility: A pre-requisite for patience and prayers CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

Amir, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaát, Dr. Mashhud Aderenle-Fashola and Manatan Circuit President, Engr. Ganiyu Olaleye, during the 2013 Shoora in Lagos recently.

or unless owing to his humility and humbleness, his worship of God and other deeds attain high standards. Prophets of God have come in this world to propagate this objective and they led by their own blessed examples. Among all the Prophets of God, the supreme example is that of the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said: ‘Allah the Exalted is Ever-Merciful and Compassionate. He nurtures man in every way and has mercy on him. It is by virtue of His mercy that He sends His Apostles and Messengers so that they may save people of the world from sinful life. However, arrogance is a most dangerous affliction. It brings about spiritual death for the person in whom it is instilled. I know for certain that this affliction is worse than murder. An arrogant person becomes Satan’s brother because it was arrogance which disgraced Satan. Therefore,

it is conditional for a believer that he should not have any arrogance. On the contrary, he should have humility, meekness and modesty. God’s Apostles are exclusive in this regard; they have extreme humility and humbleness. More than the others, this characteristic was paramount in the Holy Prophet (PBUH). One of his servants was asked as to how did the Prophet (PBUH) treat him. He replied that the truth was that the Prophet served him more than the servant served him. Bless O Allah Muhammad and the people of Muhammad and grant him blessings and security. This is a supreme example of morals and humility. It is true that among one’s associates, it is mostly those who serve/servants who are present around one most of the time. Therefore, if one needs to ascertain someone’s humility, humbleness, forbearance and tolerance, it can be found out from them.’ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 8, p. 101)

Executives and members of Human Concern Foundation International (HCFI), a nongovernmental organization under the auspices of The Muslim Congress (TMC), during a peace walk from Jibowu to Anthony/Maryland and back to Jibowu in Lagos recently.

Ondo State Circuit Missionary, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Missionary Suleiman Jubril; National Secretary Maal, Alhaji AbdulGaniyyi Idris; Father of the Groom, Naib Amir, South West, Maulana Zikirullah Ayyuba and Circuit Missionary, Ijebu Circuit, Maulvi Aliyy Jimoh Giwa, at the Walimot Nikai of Mrs. Nabilah Bolarinwa, at Ahmadiyya Mosque, IIaro,Ogun State, recently.

National President (Sadr), Majlis Ansarullah, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Nigeria, Alhaji Mikail Odukoya and His Royal Highness, Ejeh of Ankpa, Oba Amodu Shuaibu, during the courtesy visit to Igala circuit members in Kogi State recently.

L-R: Secretary Maal, Majlis Ansarullah, Alhaji Isa Shokunbi; Chief Imam, Central Mosque lgala Land, Kogi State, Alhaji Idris Jubrin; Sadr, Alhaji Mikail Odukoya; Circuit President, Igala circuit, Alhaji Suleiman Shuiabu and Missionary, Abdul Quadir lbraheem, during the visit.

MMWG commends anti-gay marriage law AISHA TITILAYO


he Muslim Media Watch Group (MMWG) has lauded the anti- Gay marriage law recently passed by the National Assembly describing it as highly commendable. According to MMWG’s Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, the group considered the legislation as timely and a legislation that deserves the support of all Nigerians irrespective of religious persuasions including those in diaspora. He said that some aspects of the so called modern civilization are gradually

destroying the society as immorality and evils are being legalised in some parts of Western World, to the extent of Nigeria being intimidated by the so called Super- powers over our own laws made to restore morality and dignity of humanbeings in line with God’s injunctions. “No matter the threat, Nigerians must not succumb to pressures from any quarters to back-down on this legislation. Upon receipt of the newly passed law from the National Assembly, President Goodluck Jonathan should give the law accelerated assent by signing it immediately.

National Mirror

Special Tribute

Friday, June 14, 2013



At 85, Fatai still rocks the stage.

had some hits with Phillips, then decamped to Jofabro/EMI where they recorded over one 150 singles and had many hits for the company including Sisi Jaiye Jaiye, Ogba oya ya and Won Bumi. The fusion of Ghanaian palm wine music with Yoruba highlife sounds deeply influenced up-and-coming artists Fela Kuti, Sunny Ade (who later became Fatai’s band member) and Obey (whom he taught to play the guitar). Subsequently, the artiste has been credited with mentoring the accomplished Nigerian musicians Sunny Ade, a Grammy nominee and Ebenezer Obey, a juju music maestro. In the late sixties and early seventies, drumbeats of the Nigerian Civil War sounded stridently and many band members enlisted in the army marking a decline of ‘palmwine style’ highlife music. Ade and Obey too exited the African Rhythm band to run with the wave of contemporary indigenous sounds sweeping through while popular acceptance for Fatai’s style of music dwindled. Soon, the springy musician started retailing musical instruments. In the heat of military dictatorship holding sway in Nigeria at the time, activist musicians such as Fela Kuti were constantly fretted away for interrogation or routinely harassed. On the night of February 18, 1977, Fela experienced the full wrath of the military in power when his self-proclaimed Kalakuta Republic in Moshalashi, Yaba, was razed to the ground. Fatai Rolling Dollar, who lived three doors away from the Afrobeat icon, lost his entire possessions, including a Peugeot 405 and musical instruments in the inferno that engulfed both his and



Fela’s home. Having lost his entire means of livelihood and shelter, Fatai, his wife and five children relocated a few miles away to squalid accommodation space in the growing slum area of Mushin. The downward spiral for Fatai came in swift successions; his children who had previously been exposed to better standards of living succumbed one after the other to the mildest of ailments. Within a short spell, his wife also died of an undiagnosed illness. In the following 25 years, Fatai lived in Mushin eking out a living as a security guard and then as a guitarist for a local church. According to music followers, it was only after a Nigerian journalist wrote in his column about “the bundle of talent that is wasting away” in Mushin, that the career of this father-of-ten was resurrected. Culture advocate Jahman Anikulapo and veteran art journalist Benson Idonije set in motion a series of events in collaboration with Lagos Goethe-Institut, then

the German Cultural Centre, to revive his career. In May 2003, under the guidance of director Joel Bertrand, Goethe-Institut took him to Rabat, Morocco, to open the second edition of the capital’s world music festival. The result was a superlative live album Live in Rabat, Morocco, brought out by the Nigerian label Jazzhole Records; from this point, the remarkable comeback kept spinning more success stories. Today, completely rehabilitated, the rakish octogenarian’s whimsical, socially conscious lyrics and stage dynamics puts him miles ahead of his peers and the neoNigeria music generation. He is in high demand at music concerts, social parties and event. In his comeback years, several awards have gone into the kitty of this legendary singer, multi-instrumentalist, song writer and showman. Music pundits say his comeback bears some semblances to the story of popular Afro-Cuban singer and musician, Ibrahim Ferrer of the Buena Vista Social Club. In their glory days, the Buena Vista ensemble paraded music stars but Ferrer remained the arrowhead of the musical experiment. Later, he returned to music abandoning his work as a shoe shiner and remained a major force until his death in 2005. To celebrate his 85th birthday in July 2011, Fatai released an album titled Won kere si Jesu wa, not as sequel to the 2004 monster hit Won kere si number. It is the song of deep-seated gratitude from a man who realises that just at the edge of a steep crevice, he was held back from falling into oblivion.


Special Tribute

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim enjoying the music of the highlife artiste

Fatai, the ageless performer at National Mirror’s Publisher’s Nite At the gala night to commemorate the first anniversary of National Mirror Newspaper on December 17, 2011, the Publisher of National Mirror, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, had invited Fatai Rolling Dollar from Lagos to grace the event held at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja. The Highlife superstar attended as a guest as well as the headlining performer. Reproduced here are some of those timeless photographs of the legend at his entertaining best.

With a guest

With Yinka Davies

Fatai Rolling Dollar with Managing Director, National Mirror Newspapers, Mr. Steve Ayorinde.

L-R: Prince Mike Ezekhome, SAN; Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim; a guest and Fatai Rolling Dollar.

National Mirror

Mirror Mongers

Friday, June 14, 2013

Bash Ali gets the ‘deserved attention’

Trending offshore parties



wo weeks ago, you read here how Bash Ali took his quest to become the oldest man to have a world title in boxing to the Wadata House, the headquarters of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Abuja, right? He had laid siege at the premises; reminiscent of what he did in Lagos when he needed Governor Raji Fashola’s attention, when he moved to a Lagos bus-stop. MM learnt that the boxer is still not relenting in his quest to get the deserved attention. Sometime last week, he was at the National Stadium in Abuja, simply to meet President Goodluck Jonathan, who almost broached the rules of protocol (by Nigerian standards) when he noticed Bash was having an issue with his security details and invited him over to meet with him. MM learnt that Bash narrated his plans to become the next big thing in the world of boxing, prompting the President to refer him to Bolaji Abdullahi, the Minister in charge of sports. Has Bash been able to see the minister? No, and it is causing him so much pains. His attempts were repelled by the minister’s aides who, in the process, almost injured him. For an undaunted Bash Ali, people are wondering who next he would accost to narrate his ambitions to.



L-R: Odili and Amaechi

Amaechi, Odili and Mr. President


he Odilis and Ihemes (bondage created on the bench?) have been hosting the biggest names in Nigeria in the past two weeks, following the marriage of their children. The second lap of the event, which held at Abuja last week and had President Goodluck Jonathan as one of the special guests, did not leave anyone in doubt why Chibuike Amaechi was absent. But the first lap that held two weeks ago in Ndoni, Rivers State, the home of the Odilis, obviously is leaving questions about the depth of the reconciliation which happened between Odili and Amaechi some years ago.

While the twosome had openly admitted the resolution of their problem which stemmed from Amaechi’s perception that his godfather, Odili did not do much to save him when the ‘powers that be’ in PDP declared that his mandate had ‘K-leg’; the new twist is opening a new vista to what the relationship has been lately. For starters, governors like Rochas Okorocha (perceived as an Amaechi man) and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State were at the traditional marriage chatting and laughing as if they had forgotten the voting process that led to the home video called: ‘NGF’ (1&2).

igerian entertainment stars have a way with announcing status. It is no longer in the cars, the Lekki houses or being at Presidential soirees. These days, for one to belong to the big league in the entertainment industry, he or she must learn to take his party abroad or offshore as it is referred to now in the circle. Some months back, it was 2Face Idibia flying his friends and relatives to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to wed his wife, Annie. D Banj also followed the trend by throwing his birthday bash in South Africa; just like actress-singer Tonto Dike, who celebrated her birthday bash last week in London. Tonto’s bash is, however, the one that is generating the most buzz. MM gathered it has a lot to do with the gifts she got and the gifts she offered. For instance, a photo of her breasts nearly popping out of her dress following a fall is being attributed to maybe too much champagne.


Two governors’ link with the June 12 hero


ome stories are better said with pictures. That is exactly what these two photos have done online and in social media circles, making some analysts to draw conclusions. Sometime last year, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State was spotted in Owerri, the state capital, patronising a man selling ‘roasted corn’ in a move that has attracted both cheers and jeers.

Cheers that he could stoop so low to eat the ‘food’ of the common people and jeers that he took along a camera man while doing so. But barely after, the Governor of Imo State found a new alliance with the Governor of Lagos, Raji Fashola in the Alliance for Progressive Change, APC (yet to be registered though), his mate in Lagos has also been ‘caught on camera’ admiring the goodies


of a roadside roasted plantain seller. For some, these two governors, who are also perceived as performers in their states, must have more than one thing in common with late Chief MKO Abiola, hero of the June 12 presidential polls, multi-millionaire and presidential hopeful, who was fond of stopping by the roadside in the 80s to buy roasted plantain and groundnuts.

Fashola. Inset: Okorocha


Bashir Tofa, the presidential candidate on the platform of National Republican Convention, NRC, when Chief MKO Abiola emerged victorious at the 1993 presidential polls, shares his views on the consistent agitation for June 12. 20 years after the June 12 elections, what’s your take on the clamour to entrench the ideals of the episode?



t is only those who don’t have anything to offer this country to move forward that can still be talking about June 12 presidential election. I am not one of those people that celebrate fiction; that is the more reason why I don’t like to be talking on June 12 presidential elections. If you have learnt any lesson out of it good, if you have not, keep quiet and let this country make progress. But for one to still be talking about something that occurred 20 years ago is a colossal waste of time. We have more problems than to be talking about this; we want this country to survive and people are still talking about June 12.


Denrele’s Day Adenrele Niyi Denrele’s Day is a collection of witty & sin sincere articles inspired b a zany imagination by

Friday, June 14, 2013

Monumental Fatai Olagunju Follow on Twitter@MizNiyi


he adjective ‘monumental’ is not to be trifled with in English grammar; a qualifier which gives to its subject the status of great importance, extent or size. Imagine then the legend of 86-yearold Fatai Rolling Dollar, a man of stupendous musical and personal exploits; boasting of an eponymous career resurgence, mentoring a couple of tradomodern music superstars and evidently still possessed a vibrant libido for a geriatric senior citizen. The late Fatai Rolling Dollar is (was) so monumental that when I heard of his demise on Wednesday, I immediately jettisoned my already prepared write-up on Big Brother Africa to accommodate a personal tribute for the Nigerian musician. A death like Fatai’s is ‘Stop Press!’ news material; almost every other news item becomes subsumed under the magnitude and importance of the deceased. Not so we can sell the newspaper by targeting only headline grabbers (don’t forget also that sales is crucial to being in business), but because we would be defaulting on our core role as media communicators to report and inform on historical events. Earlier in the week, my thoughts had been focused on writing about the two-week old Big Brother Africa: The Chase. A reality TV show that is always guaranteed to stir controversy, stoke emotions and build an army of glued-to their-settees viewers across the continent. The concept of a ‘Big Brother’- an all-seeing-eye- confining housemates for 90 days and dictating terms of engagement both intrigues and repels me. Sometimes, I treat the show with the disdain of a person who fancies himself or herself intellectually occupied and recreationally satiated not to stoop low as to watch the mundanities around the day-to-day cohabiting of largely unknown and uninspiring African youths. But the magic of Big Brother is hidden in the frequent ‘sparks of human insanity’ brought about by the tendency of people to trip up and manifest unsavoury personality traits under the intense pressure of living in full glare of cameras. The results of such ‘unscripted naughtiness’ generate fireballs of interest and draws more faithful viewers to watching Big Brother each season. In past editions, there have been plenty of raunchiness and sex –think Tatiana/Richard; Talia/Keagan; Luke/ Jessica and Junia/Malonza. A few marriages out of BBA house romances –think Kelvin/Elizabeth; Mwisho/ Meryl and Quinn/Jennifer. How about physical combats? –Think DKB/Zainab; Hannigton/Lerato; DKB/Mampi and Roki/Maneta -these add up to make BBA compelling and near-irresistible. This season, however, while some couch potatoes were fluffing up their settee pillows for the comfiest viewing pleasure, two housemates, Sierra Leone’s Bolt and Ethiopia’s Betty dove under the duvet for a hush-hush copulation, resurfaced without missing a breath and carried on competing for

the $300,000 prize money like they went for a quick dump in the toilet. This occurring only five days together in this house! Talk about sex-on-thego! Now you understand why writing about Big Br other nagged me like a fishwife this week. Anyway, let’s leave BBA and revert to the main subject; Fatai Rolling Dollar. One of the thoughts that crossed my mind after news of his passing broke was the irony of a 94-year-old Nelson Mandela outliving the veteran musician. Heck! Mandela even outlived Chinua Achebe at 82. However, on account of the frequency at which Mandela has been an in-patient at a South African hospitalwhile the world waits with bated breath for the outcome of his hospitalisation, Fatai didn’t even so much as give us a terrible scare to forewarn us of this end. Granted, he had been on admission at Ahmadiyya Hospital, Lagos for roughly two weeks, but when I spoke with him on Wednesday, June 5, his firm tone, steady voice and optimistic language didn’t betray the fact that the grim reaper was hovering close by. It would be a disservice to his Maker and his legacy to say 86 years was too early an age to die; but I struggle to grasp the reality that a larger-than-life Fatai Rolling Dollar- stage dynamo, wunderkind entertainer and one of the last dinosaurs of his era, is dead. It feels like we are depleting our storehouse of artistic genius in Nigeria in a time when genius-level creativity is few and far in between and we watch helplessly, unable to stem the tide. What more can I add that the special six-page tribute that starts on page 23 of today’s paper hasn’t covered? Sleep well Baba! *** A sub-section titled YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! makes its debut on my column this week. I have named it thus because it reflects on the incongruities in our society through short and snappy rehash of striking, observations, incidences or interactions. ***

You’ve got to be kidding me! ...That the Federal Roads Safety Commission, FRSC and Vehicle Inspections Officers, VIO, would permit banged up Police vehicles to ply Lagos roads with no rear lights, busted headlamps and constitute a clear risk to other law-abiding road users. Of greater worry is the glaring paint job which indicates that the visually offensive security vans belong to the Lagos State government’s fleet. Ironically, and slightly comical, is the self-indicting branding of “Zero Tolerance to One Way Road Users and Traffic Offenders” these vans often bear. Such flagrant disrespect for the law of the land by law enforcers insults the sensibilities of Nigerians who bend over backwards to put their car in shape just to beat the FRSC/VIO/LASTMA radar and scrutiny. Only in Nigeria can this modern retelling of the toxic dichotomy and shifty ideology of leadership as seen in Animal Farm remain unfettered. Love and peace for the weekend.

National Mirror


Eddie Ugbomah

What gains from NFC or NFVCB?


y nephew made an N11mdocumentary and I was so impressed that I offered to use my connection to get this documentary to the President which has been impossible. The DVD was delivered by hand to three ministers (names withheld) and three advisers at Aso Rock. Then I stayed for 10 days in the hotel with my nephew paying N50,000 daily. I tried to get these so called friends and officials to acknowledge these DVD, not even one of them called or invited me to their offices. The journey so far cost my nephew and I N900,000. The nasty part is that a gang of shameless rogues have been lifting parts of the documentary, even recently on May 29, Democracy Day. I remember that one of the advisers sent his boy to collect the DVD and sent N100,000; minus that from N900,000 so we spent N800,000. A politician is a thief, liar, egoist, tribalist and is sick in the head. Since the past 66 years to date, I have learnt never to rely on a Nigerian in position because he is all of the above descriptions. I am concerned about the attitudes of these men which is seriously affecting Jonathan’s government. An example is the ‘Nollywood at 20’ that was celebrated without the consent of the Nollywood people. The N2bn donated to pacify us because of the inaccessible $200 million is untouchable by the real people that it was meant for. Nigerian Film Corporation, NFC, has been jointly sponsored to Cannes Film Festivals; they went there with nothing and come back with the usual communiqués and big grammar. I have been crying to the Federal and Lagos State Governments to stop wasting money that can be used to support good Nigerian movie productions. Once these ‘evil’ servants want to chop, they will go to any extent to impress the President or Governor about the relevance of their wasteful trips. Can NFC that has failed the industry for the past 12 years tell me what they brought back? Nothing. How long are we going to watch NEXIM Bank waste cash to sponsor nonsense? If these people have taken reputable producers and actors to Cannes, organise a Workshop with both old and new studios, then they would have come home with at least three joint production contracts. These are abuses of position and money wasting. Early this year, the Bank of Industry, BoI, had a lecture in London where they misrepresent and misinformed their mainly white audience that Nollywood is unserious and not organised. They said there were millions of pounds available in Nigeria for these foreigners to come and collect. I felt very sorry for the Nollywood people because it is their fault. If they have been listening to my cry for 20 years and toed the line of professional



WHERE THEY DON’T APPRECIATE US sanity, they wouldn’t be the kicking boys of all these ministries and parastatals. Now, everybody wants to be involved in any subject or matter concerning Nollywood. Why is it that for 12 years now, the simple setting up of the “Motion Picture Practitioners Council” has been impossible? If people should know the power of movies or entertainment in a country, you will then realise why the infighting, corruption, tribalism and nepotism. I even pity myself because my name is a taboo in these offices. I sent letters of support to two ministries involved in arts and many parastatals with a budget of N6 million to celebrate and induct members into the Historical Hall of Fame. You can’t believe it that they either ignored the letters, while some made promise to do something since September 2012. Some gave this ridiculous N300,000. But the same parastatals spent over N10m to N15m to go on worthless jamborees achieving nothing from foreign film festivals. How many foreigners come to our worthless film festivals except AMAA that goes all out to interact with other Africans to attend and submit their films? NFC continues to disgrace and insult Nigeria by attending these festivals where they don’t appreciate us and are afraid of the former achievements of Nollywood. Now people pirate, release and show films that are not censored in the entire South-East, South- South and SouthWest. You ask why? It is the failure of the Nigeria Film and Video Censors Board, NFVCB, made up of people who don’t know why they work there. Ms Patricia Bala has my pity because like President Goodluck who inherited atrocities of many years and we expect them to perform miracles. If Ms. Bala doesn’t sanitise these marketers, producers and the series of porno films in the market, I don’t know what she is doing. My film was stolen and re-titled. When the Lagos Office of Censors Board saw the film, they called me. I told them to seize the film and arrest the man who brought it. It is now three months, the film is selling in video markets all over the country; they are too keen to pass the blame to Copyright. My only problem is that the FG keeps watching the Nigerian Film Corporation wasting millions going to festivals every year; is there any Oga upstairs?

National Mirror

People In The Mirror

Friday, June 14, 2013


Pacelli School hosts celebration for Dudu@60

Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin, aka Dudu (l) and Provincial Pastor, Living Faith Church, Ogun, Pastor Isaac Folaji at the event.

Principal, Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, St. Jane Oyeneri; Broadcaster Bisi Olatilo and Tunde Osho of TVC News.

Relatives of the celebrant, Mr. Godwin Hundeyin (l) and Mr. Muse Hundeyin.

Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin, owner of multilayered production outfit, Dudu Productions and former Chairman, Badagry Local Government in Lagos celebrated a memorable 60th birthday in Lagos on Thursday, June 6. The veteran producer gathered family, friends, contemporaries and well wishers at the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, Surulere, to mark the day in benevolent overtures to children of the school. It was indeed a remarkable birthday event for the school, guests and the celebrant who requested that all birthday gifts be donated to the children.

Celebrant, Mr. Tunde Alabi-Hundeyin (middle) flanked by friends and family during the cutting of the cake.

Managing Director, Quincy Herbal, Mrs. Quincy Ayodele (r) and Mrs. George Oluranti.

Actors/broadcasters Yemi Shodimu (l) and Patrick Doyle at the event.

Cross section of students having fun at the event.

Managing Editor, Ovation Int. Mr. Segun Adebowale (l) and Art Director, Gulder Ultimate Search, Mr. Taiwo Aliu.

L-R: Actor, Mr. Victor Olaoto; his colleague, Segun Arinze and Special Envoy, External Relations, MindSmith Inc, Mr. Igbalaye Olajide.

City People fetés Shaddie Bob and friends It was an evening of jazz, entertainment, art, dance, spoken word, fashion and poetry last Saturday when City People Entertainment hosted Inspiro Productions CEO and NAIJAZZ founder, Ayoola Sadare (Shaddie Bobo) and his friends in the media, entertainment and business community at an event tagged “An Exclusive Evening Out with Ayoola Sadare and Friends”. Venue was Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos.

Chief Executive, Reach Back Pull Forward, Gladys Agwai; Dr. Jennifer Lee and Olutoyo Johnson-Awe at the occasion.

L-R: Mr. Ola Fajemisin; Ayo Sadare and Dr. Ola Balogun

Kemi Otegbade of Heartlink (l) and Tee Mac

Grace Akinyanjuola (l) and Mrs. Tokunbo Sadare.

NAIJAZZ artiste, Ebisan during her performance.

Publisher, City People Magazine, Seye Kehinde and Consul General of South Africa to Nigeria, Amb. Mokgethi Monaisa.

Mrs. Yewande Abimbola (l) and her husband, Femi. PHOTOS: OLUFEMI AJASA


Friday June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Mirror Drive

Mercedes-Benz storms, Nigerian roads with new models STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI


ercedes-Benz Auto Company based in Stuttgart, Germany is known for the production of durable and high quality brands over the years and in the past has taken the largest chunk of the global auto industry including Nigeria. But its activities decelerated in the auto industry for some years, most especially in Nigeria, due to the arrival of Chinese, Japanese, Indian and even Korean brands that flocked the country’s market with more affordable brands. However, it seems the auto company is set to reclaim its number one position with the introduction into the global market of different brands of its latest arts – 2013 Mercedes- Benz A and E, which are specifically built to suit the Nigerian roads and auto shoppers. Earlier, the auto company unveiled Class B and Class C to auto shoppers in the country. The latest brands, which are manufactured to withstand pressure from bad roads, also consume lesser fuel than those in their categories. Unveiling the brands last week in Lagos, the Managing Director, Weststar Associates Ltd, authorised dealer of Mercedes-Benz products in Nigeria, Mr. Mirko Plath says that the brands will seek to add values to the auto industry in Nigeria. He says that apart from the drastic reduction in fuel consumption, the unveiled brands will suit the Nigerian market with their rigidity, stylish and after high sales maintenance. Plath explains that to ensure even distribution of the


he Honda CR-V set an all-time April sales record this year by becoming the best-selling crossover in the country on the strength of 26,519 deliveries. That performance represented an increase of 12.2 per cent as compared to the same month in 2012. An online statement signed by the Marketing Manager, Stallion Motors Ltd, the official authorised distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Nigeria, Mr. Santhosh Nair said that the crossover was just one of six Honda vehicles to see double-digit sales gains in the month. Nair said that the brand’s lineup continues to build momentum one third of the way through the 2013 selling season, adding that in fact, Honda division sales have grown in three out of four months so far this year, which has resulted in a 5.2 per cent sales boost and 419,798 deliveries. Other April top performers for Honda included Honda Fit, 4,286 sales (33. 9 per cent), Honda CR-Z; 405 sales (21.3 per cent), Honda Odyssey; 11,832 (12.9 per cent), Honda Pilot; 10,613 (20.2 per cent) and Honda Ridgeline; 1,557 sales (47.6 per cent). In addition, the all-new Honda Accord, with 33,538 deliveries in May, was the top-

new products in the country, Weststar will before the end of the month distribute the new classes to its over 700 dealers spread across the country. Mercedes-Benz A-Class Speaking on the A-Class, Plath enthuses that like other brands of Mercedes-Benz, the A-Class focuses more on safety. The latest brand is the third generation of A-Class in the industry and it is coming 15 years after the original launch. Benz A-Class is a tall car, but short of length, with power routed through the front wheels, provisions for alternative powertrains, and styling that would not tick the usual Benz boxes but instead would be funky and contemporary. The new A-Class, he notes, comes with a completely new design setting a new standard in the auto-industry, adding that the design is not the only thing that is new in the brand. He says, “Its new chassis ensures driving stability and ride comfort at all times. It also comes with a three -spoke multifunctional steering wheel with 12 function buttons; automatic headlamp activation and saloon seats with ARTICO man-made leather upholstery. Customers will admire its ability to run with agility due to its quiet but

powerful 4-cylinder petrol engines; plus the full range of entertainment systems, which include the Audio 5 USB. “On fuel consumption, I want to say it here that in the last 24 months and in-line with the deregulation of the downstream sector in the Nigerian market, the latest brand comes with high fuel reduction, which will save the user lots of money”. Interior Sitting low in the car’s bowels, gripped by sports seats and confronted with a chiselled sports steering wheel, it is readily apparent that the Mercedes-Benz A-class’s development team has spent a considerable amount of time attempting to bottle its rivals’ brand of high-brow hatchback appeal. Certainly, it shares MFA platform DNA with its Bclass and CLA siblings, but the A-class is glossy, well groomed cabin feels as much a derivative of Audi-influenced market expectation as it does a creation of Mercedes’ own hand. Mercedes-Benz E-Class This is a balanced performer with an ultra-luxurious interior, great safety and reliability ratings. These make the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class a top choice among luxury cars.

Honda sales jump in April

selling car in the United States, while the Honda Civic posted 26,453 sales and an 8.3 per cent spike in volume, to lead the compact segment.

“The April sales record for the CR-V exemplifies the incredible retail sales success of Honda’s core models. The Accord and Civic also continue to resonate, one custom-

er at a time, with overall year-to-date sales well ahead of last year”, said Executive Vice President of Sales at American Honda, John Mendel.

National Mirror

Mirror Drive

Friday June 14, 2013

Plath says that this class is available with a myriad of engines choices, and test drivers saying that the brand provides plenty of power and comes with a standards seven-speed automatic transmission. He informs that the E-Class has a hidden character in major auto markets and belongs to Nigerians with taste for quality and durability. Like the A-Class with reduced fuel consumption, he notes that the E-Class fuel consumption is significant with about 22 per cent reduction. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the 2013 Best Luxury Full Size Car for Families because it has the best combination of quality, size and family-friendly features in its class. During the test drive along the Lagos Island, auto journalists commended the E-Class for its clean and elegant interior styling, noting that the cabin is exceptionally-constructed with high-quality materials. The E-Class comes in sedan and coupe with comfortable and supportive front seats that offer ample head- and legroom. The E-Class sedan also features a spacious and comfortable back seat. The E-Class’ COMAND infotainment system is generally considered easier to use than the systems in its categories and comes standard with a sunroof and a stereo that features Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a six-disc CD changer, HD Radio and a 7-inch display. “Then there is the all new stylish and elegant EClass- (E 200; E 300 & E 350), which has once again set the benchmark in its segment as far as design, safety, comfort and environment are concerned. It boasts of palpable ergonomics and pronounced aesthetics giving it a completely new look and design. “There’s the new headlamps; bumper and bonnet with expressive flowing lines; LED headlamps; nine airbags; the safety fashioned attention assist and collision assist, which include Adaptive Brake assist; the enhanced steering comfort brought on by the Electromechanical Direct-

Hyundai supplies vehicles for FIFA U-20 World Cup


BROW HATCHBACK APPEAL Steer system; the ECO display for monitoring driving- style efficiency; and the newly developed 4-cyclinder petrol engine (which available in the E200)”, he emphasises. Interior features The 2013 Mercedes-Benz E350 sedan comes standard with a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control and Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system, which includes Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a six-disc CD changer, HD Radio and a 7-inch display. Also standard is Mercedes’ Attention Assistt system, which monitors driving behavior forr signs of drowsiness and alerts the driver with vi-sual and audible warnings. Options and featuress available on higher trims include a panoramic c moonroof, adaptive headlamps, push-button n start, a power trunk lid, a power rear sunshade,, navigation, an iPod interface, satellite radio, a Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system m and a rear-seat entertainment system. A numberr of safety features are also optional, including a backup camera, parking sensors, rear side-im-pact air bags, adaptive cruise control, night vi-sion with pedestrian detection and lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring systems.


How to bleed your vehicle brakes


f your vehicle has squishy-feeling brakes, the way to get the air out of the lines is to bleed the brakes. To do the job, you need either a brake bleeder wrench or a combination wrench that fits the bleeder nozzle on your vehicle, a can of the proper brake fluid, a clean glass jar, and a friend. The first step to follow when bleeding your brake is to find the little nozzle called a brake bleeder screw that is located behind each of your brakes. Reaching this bleeder screw may be easier if you jack up the vehicle. And if you are going to crawl underneath, lay down an old blanket or a thick layer of newspapers first. If you really want to be comfortable, beg or borrow a creeper to lie on and slide around with easily. After this, you are to find the proper wrench or socket that fits the screw, and loosen the screw. Special wrenches called


bleeder wrenches fit the bleeder screw and can prevent rounding the screw’s hex-head. Be careful not to break the screw off or you will need professional repairs. Also, place a small piece of flexible hose over the end of the bleeder screw and place the other end of the hose in the jar. Then fill the jar with brake fluid to cover the end of the hose. Besides, have your friend slowly pump your brake pedal a few times. Have your friend say “Down” when pressing the brake pedal down and “Up” when releasing it. If the vehicle is jacked up, before you let your friend get into it with you underneath it, make sure that the wheels are blocked in the direction in which the car would roll and that it is not parked on a hill. Leave your tyres in place so that the vehicle will bounce and leave you some clearance if it falls. Concluded next week

yundai Motor Company, the official automotive partner of FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013, earlier in the week held a vehicle handover ceremony with the Turkish Football Federation, FIFA’s local organisation committee for the tour nament. The ceremony took place at one of the host stadiums in Istanbul, Turkey and was attended by Hyundai Motor Turkey officials and Turkish Football Federation executives. “We are proud to contribute to a sport that brings so many people together from around the world. The dynamism, passion and team spirit drive us to support the next generation of football players by providing quality vehicles for the smooth operation of the tournament in Turkey, where one of Hyundai Motor’s most important plants is located”, said Hyundai Motor Turkey Managing Director

Umit Karaarslan. The FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 will be held between June 21 and July 13 in seven cities in Turkey, with 24 qualified national teams participating. Hyundai Motor will offer a total of 112 vehicles to the committee, including Equus, Genesis, i40, i30, ix35 and H1 models, to be used by FIFA and LOC officials, referees and organisation executives. During the competition, Hyundai Motor Turkey plans to organise a test drive for its customers throughout Turkey from June 15 to July 5. Participants of the test drive will have a chance to win a total of 50 tickets to the final match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013. The partnership between Hyundai Motor and FIFA began in 1999 and is extended to 2022 including FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014.




Friday, June 14, 2013



Today's Tonic (162) All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. –Walt Disney *** It’s A Dreamers’ World! A popular wisdom teacher once wrote, “The proof of desire is pursuit.” How true! Whatever dream we are not willing to pursue is not a true dream. The world is full of beautiful and usable things today because certain people rigorously pursued their dreams. Many great things are yet to appear in the physical because true dreamers are wanting. Will you be one? And why not? You are a spark of the divine. You are a piece of the Master. You are created in the exact image of God. Wow! You have whatever it takes to manifest the treasures loaded into you by your Creator! Dream without action is not a dream. Whatever you believe in and does not move you into action is living a false life. Hear me friends: Pick up that dream again and go for it. You can do it. And you will succeed! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Bank clerk falls asleep, makes $293 million error


ne woman made a $296 million mistake when she fell asleep on the job. Be careful about dozing off at work, because it could cost your company millions of dollars. A German bank supervisor took her former employer

of 26 years to court after they fired her for failing to look over her payment slips. According to CNN, the woman failed to notice that one of her clerks had fallen asleep at his keyboard and held down the number 2 while processing a pensioner’s payment request.

National Mirror


Eight-month erection leads to malpractice lawsuit


aniel Metzgar had an erection that lasted about eight months -- a result of a botched penile implant in 2009, according to a medical malpractice lawsuit being heard this week in New Castle County Superior Court in New Jersey. The 44-year-old truck driver had a three-piece implant, consisting of inflatable cylinders inside the shaft of the penis, a fluid reservoir in the abdomen and a pump inside the scrotum. But instead of improving his love life, he felt like less of a man, wearing baggy sweat pants and a long shirt to hide his situation. Wherever Metzgar went, his erection got in the way, according to his attorney, Michael C. Heyden. Family events became uncomfortable because, Heyden said, “Dan is stuck in this position.” “It’s not something you want to bring out at parties and show to friends,” said Metzgar. Attorneys for Wilming-

ton, Delaware urologist, Dr. Thomas J. Desperito, said Metzgar should have known something was wrong after the December surgery when he said his scrotum swelled to the size of a volleyball. Instead, according to attorney Colleen D. Shields, he didn’t say anything until April. When Metzgar complained of an infection and an erection that wouldn’t go down, Shields insisted the urologist told the patient

that the prosthesis had to be removed. But Metzgar, according to Shields, didn’t do anything for months following the visit in late April 2010. Metzgar lost his insurance after the December 2009 procedure, and said he didn’t have the $10,000 Desperito wanted before he would do the surgery. But Shields dismissed the claim, saying the urologist wouldn’t have dealt with the

money. Metzgar ultimately had the prosthesis removed in August 2010 after the device punctured his scrotum during a family trip to Niagara Falls. Metzgar testified Monday he received a replacement prosthesis from another doctor. While this device works, Metzgar said, the scar tissue from the first surgery left him about 50 percent smaller and he suffered a loss of sensation.

Metzgar and his wife, Donna, are seeking for unspecified damages from Desperito and his medical group.

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


Business & Finance Telecoms operators in Nigeria are observing best practice in MNP as practised in developed countries of the world, and the attached conditions are to help maintain the integrity of the networks. Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, Steven Evans

SEC has been emphasising zero tolerance for sharp practices and violation of rules in the market. For the capital market to grow, every operator must have zero tolerance for sharp practices.The downturn experienced in 2008 and 2009 were partly caused by sharp practices by some operators. DIRECTOR-GENERAL, SEURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, ARUNMA OTEH

Stakeholders urge credit bureau to provide uniform data JOHNSON OKANLAWON


he credit Bureaus Association has been urged to provide uniform data format that will facilitate easy reporting of credit information by subscribers. Speaking at the justconcluded credit reporting conference in Lagos, participants also implored the Central Bank of Nigeria to continue to provide regulatory support by enforcing the provisions of relevant circulars on credit bureau usage by regulated financial institutions. The participant said the association should also explore the possibility of providing micro-lenders, insurance, retailers with cost effective means of utilising credit bureaus, including reaching out to donor agencies for support, and thereby integrating them into the credit reporting system. “The National Identity Management Commission should work hard at meeting her target of 10 million registrants by De-

cember 31st and make this available to the credit bureaus”, they said. The participants also resolved that a well-coordinated credit bureau education programme aimed at training actual process owners of subscriber institutions on the uses and benefits of credit bureaus should be carried out. They said this should be augmented by a public

enlightenment campaign that will promote credit bureau usage and create the proper orientation. According to them, access to alternate source of data like the Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Road Safety Corps, members-based organizations, to enrich the databases of the credit bureaus should be aggressively canvassed by the credit bureaus with support by the CBN.

They said, “Credit reporting system should be leveraged to exploit the great opportunities that abound in consumer lending to deepen the financial system and promote individual well-being. More work should be done on the draft revised Regulations for credit bureau operations to align with best practice and national aspiration.” It was noted that con-


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has asked banks and other financial institutions, operating in the country to report any suspected accounts or dealings with ter-

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L – R: Group Managing Director, First Bank Nigeria Limited, Mr. Bisi Onosanya; Executive Director, Business Development, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri; Chief Executive Officer, FBN Holdings Plc, Mallam Bello Maccido and Head of Corporate Services Division, NSE, Mr. Bola Adeeko, at the FBN Holdings Plc presentation of Facts Behind the Figures at the NSE in Lagos, yesterday.

CBN asks banks to report suspected terrorist accounts UDO ONYEKA

sidering the critical role that a credit reporting system plays as an enabler in developing a stable and inclusive financial system, especially in emerging markets, the Federal Government should take the development of the credit reporting system in Nigeria as a national project. This, participants said, should boost usage by financial institutions

rorists groups. In a letter to all banks titled ‘Terrorism prevention, proscription order ‘dated June 10, the CBN tasked all financial institutions to be vigilant and should check in their data base, names of some proscribed terrorist groups. The letter read in parts “ The federal Government of Nigeria in its efforts to stem terrorism in the

country has proscribed the activities of “jamaatu ahlish-suna liddaawati wal jihad” otherwise known as Boko Haram sect and the “jama’ atu ansarul muslimna fi biladis sudan” in any part of the country.Their activities are consequently declared as terrorism and illegal “All banks and other financial institutions are by this letter; require check-

TUC Presidency: Salako steps down for PENGASSAN president


ing their data base for names of the above sects as well as their associates and reporting same to the CBN. Where no accounts or business relationship are maintained for any of the proscribed names or their associates, a nil return should be rendered “, the statement said. It would be recalled that the CBN last month released exposure draft for

the proposed amendment to the anti-money laundering and combating the financial terrorism regulation of 2009 as amended, as part of efforts to bring it in line with money laundering prohibition Act of 2011. In a circular to all banks, the CBN said that it reviewed the AML/CFT Regulation 2009 to align it with Money laundering Prohibition Act 2011 and Terrorism Prevention Act.

Multimodal transport system and effecient seaport operations


Lag-Abj: 06.50, 13.30, 16.30, 19.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun), 12.30 (Sun) 16.45 (Sat) Abj-Los: 07.30, 13.00, 19.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat, 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 (Sun, 18.30 Sat) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)

IRS Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00


Business News

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

TUC presidency: Salako steps down for PENGASSAN president MESHACK IDEHEN


he Har mony Group, comprising important affiliates of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said it has chosen a candidate that will be voted in as the next TUC president next week. With the latest development, incumbent President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (PENGASSAN), Mr. Babatunde Ogun, is now the sole candidate from the group that will contest for the president general’s position. President of the Association of Senor Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Mr. Olusoji Salako, who stepped down for Ogun will now contest for the position of First Deputy President General. Addressing the media on Thursday, the PENGASSAN

L-R: Segment Manager, Small Medium Enterprises, Diamond Bank, Mr. Cheta Agbo; Senior Consultant, Mark-George Consultants, Mr. John Eklpikhe and Guest Speaker and Team Leader, Entrepreneurs Resources and Advisory Centre, Mr. Solomon Chikan, at the 32nd Diamond Bank Seminar on Business-Xpress Enterprise Series in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

president said the Harmony Group, cuts across TUC affiliates with common aspiration for a better and more focused TUC.

He said the group is using the forum to declare the readiness of aspirants in the team to contest as a team for various elective positions in

10 African heads set for regional economic forum KUNLE A ZEEZ


en African heads of state have confirmed their attendance at The New York Forum Aafrica (NYFA), to be held in Libreville, Gabon from. The programme starting from today will run through June 16, 201 3. The leaders, including heads of state from all six of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC), will join more than 1,000 business and political leaders. The NYFA is the largest panAfrican business summit in the world; this year it plays host to the Summit of the Heads of CEMAC, whose members are Cameroon,

the Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo. According to a statement, the six CEMAC heads of state joined other political leaders and more than 1,000 business leaders from the region and further afield, to discuss issues as diverse as national and economic security, infrastructure, foreign direct investment, with a special focus on SMEs and entrepreneurs. A communiqué, including policy initiatives from the CEMAC meeting and discussions from the opening day of the NYFA, will be presented at the G8 pre-summit event on Africa. The communiqué will be presented byMinister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation

and the Francophonie for the Republic of Gabon, Mr.. Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet. A final communiqué from the CEMAC leaders will be delivered upon the conclusion of the NYFA to the G8. “Now in its second year, the New York Forum AFRICA is organized by Richard Attias & Associates under the patronage of the Office of President Ali Bongo Ondimba and in collaboration with the Government of Gabon. “The high-profile forum will host economic leaders, business executives, young entrepreneurs, investment funds, policy makers, and international media for intense discussions and working sessions.

Ex-CITN boss hails proposed restructuring of federal agencies


former President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Mr Rasaq Quadri,said on Thursday that the proposed restructuring of federal agencies would increase efficiency in public service delivery. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that a lot of the Federal Government agencies and commissions had overlapping functions. The former CITN president said that the restructuring would affect revenue generation of government, however, adding that the proposal should not be focused on increasing tax earnings alone. Quadri was commenting on the Dr Steve Oronsaye’s Draft White Paper report of the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and

Rationalisation of Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies Report. NAN recalls that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday considered the Oronsaye report, which acknowledged the existence of 541 agencies of government and endorsed 321 of them. He said that wastage, financial leakages and indolence would reduce in government if the restructuring was done. “It will affect revenue generation quite alright in terms of taxes but we have to look beyond that, look at the overall benefit to the country. “We are talking about Agencies and Ministries and Department whose functions are overlapping

and some of them are not even necessary. What effect would it have on the economy in total? “The other issue is it might increase the people that will moving about within the civil service if those people are still within the service. So it has so many dimension, the effect of the tax is on one side but then one has to look at the overall effect on the Nigeria economy. “There are two ways to it, it is either they want to sack those people and release them into the market thereby increasing the number of unemployment within the market. Or they still retain them in the system in which case they will not be that relevant as far as contributing to the economy.

the National Administrative Council during the Delegates’ Conference of the TUC taking place up in Abuja. Ogun said, “the group is

made up of experienced, credible, tested and trusted leaders with landmark achievements at their various unions and has collectively harmonised the three President-General aspirants in the team, who will now contest for the positions of president-general, Deputy President-General 1 and Treasurer respectively”. He explained that the group parades affiliate’s leaders that possess the experience and wherewithal to lead the labour centre and consolidate on the achievements of the outgoing administration led by Mr. Peter Esele. “Our consolidation agenda that we are unfolding today will raise the bar of TUC to a higher level of globally recognised and influential trade union centre to the betterment of the lives of our members in particular and the Nigerian nation as a whole”,Ogun added.

SWIFT acquires 4G unit to drive broadband penetration KUNLE A ZEEZ


n major move to deliver improved Internet experience to Nigerians and ultimately drive broadband penetration in the country, Swift Networks Limited, an indigenous Internet Service provider, has acquired the 4G business unit of Direct On PC. DOPC is a leading provider of terrestrial and satellite based broadband internet and intranet services to and requirement of Internet / Intranet services to businesses and governments. With this transaction, Swift will acquire all the wireless/ 4G infrastructure and co-related customers of DOPC in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Swift networks, however, said the satellite and enterprise business of DOPC remains unaffected by the transaction. Speaking at press conference in Lagos to announce the consummation of the transaction this week, Managing Director of SWIFT Networks, Mr. Charles Anudu, said described the acquisition, which started 18 months ago, as a significant milestone in his company’s journey to advance its competitive position in the high quality broadband segment with expanded footprint in the Nigerian market. “It will improve our customers’ broadband experience and overall operating results as the cost efficiencies arising from the economies of scale of the streamlined operation will accrue to our vari-

ous stakeholders,” he said. According to him, “the ultimate beneficiaries will be our current, future and DOPC’s erstwhile customers who will now be served by a network with a larger coverage and exceptional focus on customer relationships,” promising that the company would continue to invest in new technologies and processes that deliver values to its growing subscribers. Anudu added that while the financing for the transaction was provided by Union Bank and Fisrt City Monument Bank plc, the financial terms were not disclosed. He also said the transaction had received the full approval of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC). “SWIFT and DOPC are a perfect fit as we share a common passion for innovation and customer satisfaction. I am happy that we found the SWIFT home for our 4G WiMAX customers as they will join an operator that has become the undisputed leader in both network quality and customer service in its category”, Vice Chairman of the Bhojraj Chanrai Group and Owner of Direct On PC, Mr. Mahesh Sadhwani, also said. Meanwhile, Anudu also that Swift networks has contracted a consortium of equipment vendors and service providers led by Huawei, IHS, Helios, SWAP and Porta One to rollout a new superfast broadband network in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, based on the new 4th Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) technology.

National Mirror

Business News

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fastjet, Red 1 Airways to set up low cost carrier in Nigeria OLUSEGUN KOIKI


frica’s low cost airline, Fastjet, has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Nigeria’s Red 1 Airways Ltd, to create a low cost airline operating within Nigeria and to destinations across Africa. The MoU brings together Fastjet’s strong brand, reputation, management experience and economies of scale, and Red 1’s extensive local market knowledge within Nigeria. The airline will be branded Fastjet Nigeria. The capital required for this venture will be the responsibility of Red 1 as Fastjet will have a minority shareholding in the new airline. A a joint statement by the partners said a commercial ar-

rangement will exist between Red 1 and Fastjet for the provision of the Fastjet brand, operational framework and management services. Fastjet said it will provide further details on the signing of binding contracts. Since launching in Tanzania in November 2012, Fastjet has established itself as a provider of safe, reliable and high quality air travel in Africa; Fastjet Nigeria intends to bring this same level of service to Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa with more than 165 million people. The Fastjet Nigeria management team will be led by Red 1, who will oversee day to day operations, while the Fastjet Plc management team will bring its extensive experience and expertise of the low cost airline industry to the partnership.

Operating within Fastjet’s growing Pan-African organisation the partnership is planned to provide Fastjet Nigeria with an extensive distribution network. Commenting on the development, Fastjet CEO Ed Winter said: “The combination of Fastjet’s brand and experience and Red 1’s extensive knowledge of the local aviation market and Nigerian business landscape is a perfect foundation for a great airline. “The Nigeria people deserve a new airline offering great value and operating to international standards of safety and reliability.” Also speaking on the new business, Red 1 CEO, Dikko Nwachukwu said: “We are excited to partner with Fastjet and humbled to be working on bringing Nigeria its first true Low Cost Carrier.

Diamond Bank launches new campaign UDO ONYEKA


iamond Bank is set to break its new campaign to claim its position as one of the leading financial institutions in Nigeria. In a statement made available to National Mirror the bank said a successful brand refresh in November 2012 where the brand saw changes in its colours moving away from the monosyllabic greys and dark tones to more vibrant colours, was to make the brand more approachable in line with its’ position as a retail bank. “For more than 20 years, Diamond Bank has built equity as a strong reliable salient bank. Relatively unscathed by the upheavals of the Nigerian Banking sector in the 1990s and more recently, the bank is now considered one

NDIC tasks operators of micro-finance banks on payment of premium


he Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) on Thursday called on micro-finance banks to ensure prompt payment of premium. The Managing Director of the corporation, Alhaji Umaru Abdullahi, made the call at a workshop organised by the company for operators in the micro-finance banking sub-sector in Kano. He said the call was necessary because it was part of their obligations to pay premium when due. “They have an obligation to pay the premium as much as we have the obligation to continue to supervise them and give them assistance whenever necessary and

possible.’’ He lamented that the N1.1 billion so far collected from the banks as premium was grossly inadequate if NDIC was to continue to give them the necessary assistance to enable them to remain afloat. “The N1.1 billion collected as premium from the banks is very minimal and poor. It is also unacceptable,’’ he said. According to him, a tripartite agreement will soon be signed between the NDIC, CBN and the microfinance banks, to ensure prompt payment of the premium. The Managing Director urged the banks to establish

customers’ complaints desk to attend to customers’ complaints. “The desk will address customers’ complaints 24 hours and this will enhance the relationship between customers and operators of the banks.’’ He said the workshop was aimed at ensuring that the banks remained focused, sound and stable so that they could add value to their customers. “Banks should not rely on governments’ deposits, but they should go to the rural areas because 70 per cent of the country’s population live in the rural areas,’’ he said. Participants at the workshop were drawn from the NorthWest and North-East geo-political zones of the country.

of the foremost banks in lending to customers, SME banking and corporate banking especially in the oil and gas sector. “In a highly delicate and competitive banking environment with little or no product differentiation and where products are easily replicated, banks must seek to clearly define their role and product positioning”, the statement said. Diamond Bank’s new media campaign “you need a new bank,” reminds customers of the power of choice especially when it comes to choosing a bank. According to the bank, as customers are becoming more discerning of banking products and services, the bank is putting a stake in the ground- armed with a portfolio of products and technology to produce faster and more efficient services.

HP unveils Android consumer tablet KUNLE A ZEEZ


L-R: Chairman, Bank of Industry Investment Trust Co. Limited, Ms.Evelyn Oputu; Board member, Chief Lawrence Osayemi; Managing Director, Mr. Tony Phido and Mr. Samuel Ekpong board member of the bank, at the Annual General Meeting of the company in Lagos, recently.


lobal Information technology firm, Hewlett Packard (HP), has announced its Slate7 described as an affordable Android Jelly Bean consumer tablet that provides customers with easy access to Google Mobile services. According to the company, with a 17.78cm (7-inch) diagonal screen and weighing 368 grams (13 ounces), the HP Slate7, which is currently available in Nigeria, is an ideal trusted personal companion, featuring a stainless-steel frame and soft black paint in gray or red on the back. The company said the product was also the industry’s first tablet to offer embedded Beats Audio, for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a

tablet. The HP Slate7 delivers the Google experience with services like Google Now, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive and Google+ Hangouts for multiperson video chat as well as access to apps and digital content through Google Play. Speaking on the product, Senior Vice President, Mobility Global Business Unit, HP, Mr. Alberto Torres, said, “To address the growing interest in tablets among consumers and businesses alike, HP will offer a range of form factors, leveraging an array of operating systems.” He said the new HP Slate7 on Android “represents a compelling entry point for consumer tablets, while our ground-breaking, business-ready HP ElitePad on Windows 8 is ideal for enterprises and governments.

Electronic loading: PEF seeks marketers’ support in tagging of trucks


he Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) Board of Management has called for the cooperation of petroleum marketers for effective implementation of its electronic loading scheme. The electronic loading scheme tagged: ``Project Aquila’’, requires petroleum marketers to register and tag their trucks for easy tracking and payment of their bridging claims by PEF. The General Manager (Corporate Services) of PEF, Mr Goddy Nnadi, made the call on Thursday in Suleja, Niger, while on a sensitisation visit to marketers operating at Suleja depot. Nnadi, who met with officials of Petroleum Tanker Drivers, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natu-

ral Gas Workers, harped on the need for project Aquila to succeed. He said the main reason for the visit was to seek their support in arresting and curbing the incidence of theft of truck tags by some unscrupulous marketers. He noted that some syndicates were involved recently in the theft and racketeering of PEFregistered truck tags with a view to using them on trucks not duly registered with project Aquila. “We have noticed, with dismay, that some marketers steal these tags from registered trucks with a view to using them on unregistered trucks. “Let me use this medium to tell you that you cannot use a particular truck’s tag on another truck because we have all the data in our system,’’ he said.



Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Multimodal transport system and efficient seaport operations An integrated transport system, which connects the rails, land and water transport, operated in most developed parts of the world has, over the years, proved a potent factor in seaport efficiency. FRANCIS EZEM reports that the absence of this multimodal system in Nigeria, occasioned by the poor state of the rails, will continue to inhibit efficient seaport operations.


o say that efficient transport system is the hallmark of a developed economy is to state the obvious. However more than 52 years after political independence, Nigeria is yet to achieve a measure of efficiency in her transport system due to dilapidated infrastructure. To this effect, the country is far from achieving multimodal transport system, which connects the various major modes of transport system. Apart from air transport, which seems exclusively for the rich, the most efficient system of movement of goods and people has probably remained the road transport. The reason for this has to do with the fact that more than 98 percent of this mode of transport is controlled by the private sector and despite the terrible state of the roads, they have remained in business with the attendant high cost, which is passed down to the commuters. The poor state of the roads also accounts for the high rate of accidents. This deficiency in the various modes of transport, especially the rail currently takes its toll on her seaport operations in particular and the national economy in general. For instance, available statistics show that Nigeria loses over 30 percent of her Gross Domestic Product annually to the inadequacies of Nigeria’s transport system, occasioned especially by the near total absence of the rail system. For the records, Nigeria is an import-dependent nation, which relies on imported goods, almost every segment of the lives of her citizens needs the seaports for her survival. Also, as a mono economy, which depends solely on the export of her crude oil for more than 90 percent of her foreign exchange, an efficient seaport is critical to her economy. Little wonder, the Nigerian Ports Authority, which oversees her seaports, has been christened a gateway to the nation’s economy. Unfortunately, these seaports have not been able to achieve an appreciable and acceptable level of efficiency in its operations. It was for this same reason that 48hour cargo clearance, which has been the maximum cargo dwell time at the ports projected over 10 years ago, has proved unrealisable. Apart from the cumbersome clearing processes, the non functional state of the rails has contributed to this problem. Unfortunately, successive governments in Nigeria have over the years invested in excess of N50 billion in an attempt to fix the rail system in the last few years. This regrettably has not yielded the expected result. For instance, Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar in during the ministerial briefing on the scorecard of the mid -term achievement of President Goodluck Jonathan reeled out figures indicating that over 90 percent of the rehabilitation of the entire existing narrow guage line throughout the country, some of which have been completed while so many others are ongoing. He stated specifically that the main Western Line, which is Lagos-Kano comprising of 1, 124 Kilometre had been completed and goods haulage and passenger services have commenced since December, 2012. The minister had also listed that the rehabilitation of the track and signaling Western Line from Lagos to Jebba, which contract was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company has since been 100 percent completed, among several others. These projects, have however not translated to a

CG Customs, Abdullahi Dikko


SYSTEM, WHICH HAS BECOME PART OF THE BENCHMARK FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ECONOMY multimodal transport system in the country. It was probably worried by the fact that the absence of critical infrastructure such as an integrated transport system in a developing economy such as Nigeria’s may portend a great danger that the Lagos State Government said recently that it is willing to partner the Federal Government to enhance the revitalisation of the nation’s rail system. The state is also conscious of the fact that an efficient port operation, which would be engendered by an integrated transport system is also critical to the transformation of the national economy. Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who spoke in Lagos, insisted that an integrated transport system is sine quanon for the development of Nigerian economy. “More than ever before, it has become expedient to rehabilitate the rail lines to achieve an integrated transport system which has become part of the benchmark for the development of the national economy”, he said. According to him, fixing the rail lines will engender the proper management of the haulage segment of the nation’s seaport operations. “There is need for a better management of the haulage segment of the port operations. Apapa –Oshodi Expressway is under intense pressure and this brings about high cost of maintenance”, Opeifa noted. “The Lagos State Government is willing to partner the Federal Government to reduce the pressure on the roads. Because of the heavy duty trucks, the roads get bad easily. All the old rail lines are still available, so the two governments can work out modalities to fix them up for a better and efficient transport system”, he said. He noted that transportation is key to the development of any economy, which he disclosed informed the government’s decision to work out an integrated transport system. Investigation revealed that the state is currently working on a public sector-driven integrated transport system by which it intends to capture the West African


market, towards which it has made huge investments and is willing to invest more. Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, who spoke in an interview, noted that the efficiency in any port system is directly connected to the availability of multimodal transport system. This view, according to him, is against the background that consignments are said to have been cleared off the ports when they get to the warehouse of the owner. He argued that the current level of transport infrastructure especially the road and rail systems cannot sustain an efficient port system. Aniebonam, who is also a retired officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, noted that the achievement of 48-hour cargo clearance at the seaports is achievable, as it is the case in some ports; adequate transport infrastructure that would enhance multimodal transport system is a necessary tool towards efficient and timely cargo release at the seaports. A transport and logistic expert, Mr. Francis Ehiguese, who spoke in an interview, noted that it was possible for Nigeria to lose over 30 percent of her GDP annually to inefficient transport system. While decrying the total absence of rail-road integration, which he said, is the in-thing for efficient transport system globally, Ehiguese, who is national executive director of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, Lagos, regretted that this development is taking its toll on the nation’s economy. “If the roads have failed, the rails are not working as they should, Nigerians are not having a fair share of the both the domestic and international air traffic, among others, the country loses nothing less than 30 percent of her total GDP to failed transport system”, he insisted. It was in realisation of the negative effects of the absence of an integrated transport system that a former managing director of the NPA Mallam Oman Suleiman admitted that the poor state of the national rail lines is taking its toll on the efficiency of the rails at the nation’s major seaports, thus hampering efficient release of cargo. He regretted that though the authority appreciates the role of efficient rail system in modern seaport operations, especially in terms of a hitch -free and timely release of cargo, it has not been able to take advantage of that because of the comatose state of the national rail lines. This fact justifies recent calls for declaration of national emergency in the nation’s transport sector, especially the rail and road transport system. The present administration owes Nigerians an efficient transport system, especially in the spirit of its transformation agenda.

National Mirror



he Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has urged port operators and other industry stakeholders to gear up for full enforcement of the International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code introduced in 2004 by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The security code, which Nigeria had initially complied with but later slowed down, was in response to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre, New York in September 2001, was designed to forestall a repeat of such attacks on ships and ports facilities across the globe. The United States Government had sent a diplomatic note to the Federal Government through the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Nigeria to improve its ports security system within 90 days or face international trade isolation whereby all ships that trade with the US will henceforth be barred from coming to the nation’s seaports. Director General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who spoke at the just concluded twoday stakeholders conference with the theme, ‘Reviving ISPS Code Implementation in Nigeria held in Lagos, told stakeholders that the Federal Government is committed to combating terrorism by applying global best practices, which also informed the convening of the conference.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Gear up for ISPS Code enforcement, NIMASA tells port stakeholders

L-R:: Representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ogunjimi, SSA to President on Maritime, Mr. Leke Oyewole, DG NIMASA, Ziakede Akpobolokemi at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ conference on reviving the International Ships and Ports Security Code in Nigeria organised by NIMASA in Lagos.

According to him, different responses to the increasing wave of global terrorism have been adopted by nations across the world and that solutions have been and are still being fashioned out for different sectors, adding that the IMO protocol, which brought about the ISPS Code to ensure that the global maritime arena is free from the threat of terrorism and other maritime crimes remains the most formidable.

He assured that the agency will vigorously pursue ISPS Code implementation by raising the security standards of all port facilities in our country and ships that bear our nation’s flag. While soliciting the support and cooperation of all agencies operating in the industry including public and private ones and other relevant stakeholders, he urged them to gear up some temporary challenges and discom-

Expert faults university status for Maritime Academy, Oron


senior member of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, an umbrella body for retired indigenous ship captains, chief engineers and engineers, Captain Solomon Omoteso has faulted moves by the Federal Government to upgrade the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, located in Oron, Akwa Ibom State to a university status. Former Minister of Transport, Yusuf Suleiman had commenced the processing the 35-year old academy to a degree awarding institution, which he had argued would boost its status and reputation among its peers in the comity of maritime nations. The former minister had also argued that upgrading it to a degree awarding institution would also place Nigerian cadets, who graduate from there at a higher pedestal, noting that most of them that left the school with diplomas were down priced in the international labour market. Omoteso, who addressed the media at the monthly round table of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria in Lagos, noted that transforming the academy to a degree awarding institution was

more political than professional. According to him, standard of labour issues in the maritime industry, which he said is highly globalised, does not have to do with the certificate one possesses rather what one can do in practical terms. According to him, the International Maritime Organisation has set the required standards in terms of training and certification of seafarers, who do not have to do with whether one has a diploma of degree. He also faulted the idea of the academy being certified by the National Board of Technical Education as part of processes to transform a university, saying that the board does not know the requirements of the IMO in terms of standards of training and certification. “In the final analysis, the NBTE will give approval to the institution to train graduate cadets but such cadets will be certified based on IMO standards without which no one will give them employment in the international seafarers’ market”, he had insisted. He regretted that more than 35 years after its establishment,

the academy has not made the required impact due to the undue interference of government, saying that the academy started well but derailed somewhere along the line. “Most top managers today in Nigeria’s maritime industry are graduates of MAN Oron and they are doing very well, somewhere, government came in and appointments into the institution are done on the basis of political patronage and thing started falling apart”, he regretted. While comparing the academy with the Regional Maritime University located in Tema, Ghana, he noted that though the university also has its challenges, most of its graduates are employed by foreign shipping companies, especially those in the United Kingdom immediately they leave the institution. On the way forwards for MAN, he advocated the introduction of Public Private Partnership whereby private sector operators would be in charge of the day-day running of the academy unlike the current situation where is is run as an appendage of the government.

forts that might arise from full enforcement of the ISPS Code. “Our insistence on better standards and other improved security measures may in the short term impose some level of financial burden on port facility operators and other stakeholders but the measures we shall be prescribing will in no doubt augur well for you and the Nigeria’s maritime industry in the long run”, he stated.


He also said: “The gains of a nationwide compliance with the ISPS Code are immense and serve as an anesthetic for any shortterm discomfort that our implementation agenda might cause in the interim. On the flip side, the risks of non-compliance with the ISPS Code are frightening and given the threats our nation faces from the growing menace of global terrorism and other maritime crimes, non-compliance will prove disastrous”. While insisting that the effective implementation of the code by the agency requires the cooperation of key government and other stakeholders at the highest level, he disclosed that the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have all keyed into the programme. It was also gathered that these principal government stakeholders are represented on the ISPS Code Implementation Committee set up by NIMASA to facilitate the smooth implementation of its new mandate to enforce the code as the Designate Agency, which follows the dissolution of Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS). The NIMASA-boss noted that with the support and cooperation, the agency will make such great strides that Nigeria’s commitment to this global mandate will not be in doubt or be called to question.

Group sensitises importers on trade best practices


he Customs Consultative Committee (CCC) has commenced intensive market sensitisation programme as part of measures to ensure that importers and clearing agents adhere Federal Government’s fiscal policies. The committee was set up by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Abdulahi to facilitate trade and monitor the level of compliance of customs officers, importers and customs agents with membership drawn from stakeholders including the media. A member of the committee, Chief Eugene Nweke, who addressed stakeholders at Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, told the business community that the committee was concerned with the cargo clearance processes. Nweke, who doubles as president of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders disclosed that fully compliant importers in terms of cargo declarations, will be

entitled to fast-track system services, which will help in reducing cost of doing business at the ports. According to him, when Customs finally assumes full control of Destination Inspection scheme, the new cargo clearance procedure, the Pre- Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) will further help in facilitating trade.



Agri Business

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Nigeria named G8 New Alliance food and nutrition partner country


igeria has been named as a partner country in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a G8 initiative to catalyze private-sector investment in African agriculture. Speaking at the New Alliance meeting in London as the representative of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina attended G8 Food Security and Nutrition events this weekend where He noted that inclusion in this global partnership of G8 nations and private sector partners will help Nigeria achieve its Agricultural Transformation Agenda to create 3.5 million new jobs and provide over N300 billion ($2billion) of additional income for Nigerian farmers. “We have bold targets for Nigeria’s agriculture transformation and the world is noticing,” said Adesina. “And Nigeria’s inclusion in this initiative backed by all the G8 countries, Nigerian agribusinesses and major multinationals will leverage our domestic resources to deliver on our country’s agricultural promise. We are already seeing results from bold policy reforms, donor country support and private sector commitments. This is our moment. The New Alliance will ultimately help Nigerian farmers and agribusiness to sustain this momentum.” As one of the newest members of the New Alliance, Nigeria will be a strong advocate for substantive initiatives to improve agricultural production and incomes, focusing attention on empower-

Storage silos









ing women farmers. The country’s new partnership will continue to drive the imperative to reduce food import bill, promote domestic and regional markets, and create jobs across the entire value chain, ultimately keeping the country on track to meet its agriculture target of increasing food

production by 20 million metric tonnes of food for 2015. “Nigeria believes that agriculture is a business and that the role of government is to provide an environment that enables the private sector to succeed,” said Adesina. “What joins all our food policies is the imperative to reduce our

import food bill, promote domestic and regional markets, and create jobs across the entire food value chain.” This global partnership reinforces Nigeria’s ties with the private-sector to strengthen investment, create jobs and diversify the country’s economy. To date, 28 companies have signed letters of intent to invest a total of more than $3.3 billion in the country’s agriculture sector. According to him, “These companies are not doing this for charity. They see the rapid growth in our agricultural sector and vote for Nigeria with investments.” Nigeria has adopted bold policy reforms that have led to the creation of a major farmer registration program that has reached 10 million farmers in two years, innovative agricultural financing to leverage financing from commercial banks in agriculture, the use of mobile technology for reaching millions of farmers with seeds and fertilizers, access and security to land, and increased bio-fortification to improve nutrition. As a part of its membership in the New Alliance, Nigeria is committed to improving food security and nutrition by impacting on 10 million farmers by 2015 and lifting them out of poverty. Working in partnership with G8 countries, Nigeria will focus on generating greater private investment in the agricultural sector, scaling innovation, achieving sustainable food security outcomes, increasing income especially of smallholder farmers, and ending hunger.

Germplasm from IITA assists Mali to develop Expert calls for restoration of Nigeria’s lost early maturing hybrid maize glory in agricultural


esearchers using maize inbred lines from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) have developed two early maturing hybrid maize varieties that have been released by the Malian government to boost maize production. The improved hybrids, which are locally named sanu and mata, are resistant to Striga, a parasitic weed, and possess genes that enable them to withstand drought which occurs at the flowering and grain filling periods. They are also tolerant of low soil nitrogen, and are high yielding with good cooking qualities. Sanu, which means ‘big man,’ has a yield of between 5 and 7 tons per hectare while mata— meaning mama— has a yield of between 4 and 5 tons per hectare. Local varieties have yields of between 1.5 and 2 tons per hectare. Sanu and mata are recognized as IITA hybrids TZEI 86 x TZEI 60 and TZE-Y Pop DT STRC4 x TZEI 13, respectively “The release of these hybrids will help Mali and the west Africa region to boost

the production of maize,” Dr Badu BaffourApraku, IITA Maize Breeder who is also the West Africa Coordinator of the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project said. “This is the first time early maturing hybrid maize with combined resistance/tolerance to Striga, drought and low soil nitrogen has been released in the sub region,” he added. Consumed in several forms including boil/roast and eat, or processed into flour, couscous, bread, beer or animal feed; maize is an important crop for the sustenance of livelihoods in Mali. Mr Ntji Coulibaly, the head of the national maize program with the Institute of Rural Economy, Mali, who led the testing and release of the hybrids, noted that the new hybrids would contribute significantly to improved food security and would be part of the solution to the problems of climate change. “They should solve some of the problems associated with maize production in the sub region,” he explained.



he Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Adura Farms Settlement, Chief Lawrence Bankole, said Nigeria must redeem her lost glory in Agriculture and give it a pride of place as the mainstay of the nation’s economy. Speaking recently to some local farmers in Lagos, Bankole decried the country’s failures by neglecting agriculture as a means of utmost economic survival and strengthening of the country’s financial position, saying the only solution in sustaining local economy lies in mass participation of Nigerians families in agriculture. While calling on Federal, state, and local governments in the country to encourage agriculture in order to contain peace in the hearts of the citizens; a concept he said is new theory, Bankole said what first placed Nigeria in the world global value was the nation’s venture

into agriculture, particularly from the old western region. According to him, the first highest building in Africa, Cocoa House, Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service (WWBS) and Western Television Service (WWTO) were agriculture supported projects build by Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Late Chief Ladoke Akintola. Suggesting further ways to redeem Nigeria’s agriculture; Bankole said every youth must become a potential farmer in various plantations and be involved in live stocks production in a way towards exporting thus broadening the naira’s value. He added that focus on agriculture will help the nation do away with “the rough and dirty river of corruption, kidnapping, arson and terrorism”, actions he explained brings the adverse effects of hunger, poverty and lack of vision, adding his farm will plan a national programme on agriculture in order to enhance human development, welfare and values.

National Mirror

Capital Market

Friday, June 14, 2013


Index drops most in 3 years as FG sells N21bn in bonds DAMILOLA AJAYI



he All-Share Index on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday dropped the most in more than three years on speculation that foreign investors exited the world’s fifth-best rally this year on concerns that global stimulus measures may ease. The index retreated 3.9 per cent to close at 37,406.67 points, its biggest decline since March 2010. The measure fell to the world’s eighth-best performer, as 55 stocks fell, 14 rose and 137 were unchanged. The index had risen 39 per cent this year. Bloomberg reported that emerging markets from Brazil to India took steps to stem an outflow of capital on concerns developed nations are close to ending an era of

unprecedented liquidity. The moves follow the Bank of Japan’s decision this week to refrain from adding stimulus and Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s May 22 statement that the United States Federal Reserve could scale back asset buying if it’s confident of sustained economic growth. An equity analyst at Vetiva Capital Management Limited, Mr. Pabina Yinkere said, “The Nigerian market is responding to a global trend. Many foreign and local investors want to cash out before a drastic fall hits the market.” Nigerian Breweries Plc fell for a fourth day, down 7.4 per cent to N157.5 per share, while Nestle Nigeria Plc, slid 3.7 per cent to N962.95 per share. The Managing Director of Thaddeus Investment Advisors and Research

Limited, Mr. Jude Fejokwu, said, “The foreign guys have just seen that Nigerian has been very, very rewarding to them over the past few months and they want to realize their gains. When they pull out it shakes the market and they’ve put in a lot of money.” According to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, foreign investors accounted for 43 per cent of trades in March and 61 per cent in all of 2012, while net foreign inflows amounted to N29.3bn ($182m) in March, compared with N93.8bn in 2012. Meanwhile, the Federal Government sold N21.05bn ($131.56m) worth of bonds with maturities ranging from five to 20 years and all with higher yields at a Wednesday auction, data from the Debt Management Office showed on Thursday. All notes were re-opening of previously issued bonds,

and the DMO sold only a quarter of the amount initially offered. The debt office sold N2.01bn in the bond maturing in 2030, against N35bn initially planned, N18.8bn in the note maturing in 2017, less than the 25bn initially offered, and N24m in the debt note maturing in 2015 against 25bn advertised for offer. The debt notes were sold at higher yields with the 2030 maturing paper attracted 13.5 per cent compared with 12.79 per cent at the previous month’s auction, the 2017 paper attracted 13 per cent compared with 12.25 per cent, while the 2015 attracted 12.25 per cent against 11.6 per cent. Dealers said the debt office cut back on the amount on offer because Nigerian bonds are less attractive since prices fell in last week’s sell off by foreign investors.

SEC cautions investors on margin lending JOHNSON OKANLAWON


nvestors in the Nigerian capital market have been advised to check margin list before entering into a margin lending arrangement with a broker or a bank. Margin Lending allows an investor to buy shares or managed funds with as little as 20 to 50 per cent deposit, depending on the funds and shares intend to hold within the loan. A statement from the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday noted that though the capital market is the best source of cheap medium to long-term finance for enterprises as well as for government, transactions should be built on integrity and fairness.

“As the apex regulator of the capital market, the SEC is committed to building a world class market, notably one that is inclusive, innovative and effective, but is also perceived as fair, transparent and built on integrity,” the commission added. SEC had in February said that bank equities could be traded within a margin account but would not be used to determine the credit that is due in a margin account. “The list is made up of securities that have the highest trading profile in the market. Banks are excluded from the list at this time but this may change over time,” SEC said in a statement. It noted that the SEC guidelines provide rules for the administration of

margin activity from the shared perspective of regulators and operators. The statement said that rule 22 of the guidelines addresses eligibility criteria for the margin list which include 12 month trading history, three months trading volume, 10 day trading volume, a minimum price of 75 kobo and the exclusion of Initial Public Offer, IPOs) from being funded through margin loans. Meanwhile, stakeholders in the Nigerian capital market have reacted to the exclusion of banks from companies that can access margin loan for trading shares. The former President of Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, Alhaji Rasheed Yussuff, said that the exclusion of banks from


nion Bank Plc has announced a profit before tax of N4.6bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, up by 16 per cent when compared to N4bn recorded in the same period of 2012. The bank gross earnings stood at N25.4bn,

while earnings per share rose to 28 kobo in the first quarter, from 23 kobo in the same period of 2012. According to a statement from the bank yesterday, customers’ deposits increased to N483bn in the quarter, from N482bn in 2012, while shareholders’ funds stood at N176.8bn, from N171.7bn in 2012. Speaking on the result,

the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Emeka Emuwa, noted that the 2012 financial year marked the return of the bank to profitability. He said, “We are encouraged as we continue in our efforts to build a reliable institution – one which delivers the best service possible to its customers and consistently creates value for

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 39,510.11 points Market capitalisation 12.62 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS

the list indicates that the regulators could not discharge proper monitoring of the financial institution. Yussuff, who is the Managing Director of Trust Yields Securities Limited, pointed out that the inability of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Securities and Exchange Commission to perform their regulatory roles made the bank management to manipulate the banks shares prices with margin loans. The Managing Director of Partnership Investment Company Plc, Mr. Victor Ogienwonyi differed with Yussuff, saying that the exclusion of the banks from the list will prevent them from manipulating the banks’ share prices.

Union Bank posts N4.6bn pre-tax profit in Q1 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

Source: NSE

all its stakeholders.” The bank’s Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Oyinkan Adewale said, “Our first quarter 2013 results show that we have sustained our return to profitability. We believe that, as we continue to implement our transformation programme, we will maintain this trajectory.”












































































































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Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


Community Mirror Commercial motorcyclists appeal to IGP over 48 harassment OJO OYEWAMIDE



23-year-old man has been stabbed to death at No 37, lkarigbo Street, Igbogunrin in lgbokoda, llaje Local Government Area of Ondo State. The deceased was said to have been attacked by three young men owing to his inability to pay N100 he borrowed from one of his friends. Police sources said the remains of the deceased have been deposited at the State Specialist Hospital mortuary, Akure, for autopsy. Two suspects Iwajomo Olu-

“June 12 symbolised unity, patriotism, truth, fairness, justice, equality, brotherhood and equal opportunity for all.”


Man murdered over N100

wise and Fayemi Ajide have been arrested in connection with the murder. It was gathered that the suspects approached the deceased and demanded that he pay back the debt being owed one of them. His refusal to repay the money reportedly provoked a hot argument that later degenerated into a fight, prompting one of the suspects to stab the deceased in the stomach. Eyewitnesses said the assailants attempted to escape when

they realised their victim had become unconscious but a team of policemen, that had earlier received information of the incident moved to the scene and accosted them. The Ondo Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Wole Ogodo, confirmed the incident, saying two of the suspects have been arrested while the other escaped. According to Ogodo, preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased until his death owed one of his assailants and that his

inability to repay led to his death. Describing the incident as unfortunate, he said the suspects had since been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department, SCID, for further investigation, adding that they would soon appear in court. Ogodo added that efforts are on to apprehend the fleeing suspect just as he warned people to learn how to report their differences to the police for possible settlement and stop taking laws into their hands.

Commuters resorting to pick-up van due to scarcity of commercial vehicles on Lagos Ibadan Express way,Lagos, recently.


AMCON demands investigation of company FRANCIS SUBERU


sset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, has petitioned the Special Fraud Unit of Nigeria Police force, SFU, to investigate Chief Great Ogboru and his company Fiogret over alleged disappearance of several truck loads of frozen fish in custody of its receiver manager. The petition jointly signed by the Chief legal officer and head loan management of AMCON, Mr. Benedict Daminabo and Kamiliu Omokide, alleged that AMCON acquired various loan facilities availed to Fiogret Limited by Afribank Plc, Oceanic Bank Plc and Equatorial Trust Bank respectively. The alleged total sum of the loans acquired is N6, 410,001,198.16

as at September 24, 2012. The petitioner further alleged that Fiogret Company deposited some title documents of some landed properties in favour of Oceanic Bank among which is a Certificate of Occupancy in respect of property situate at Plot 32, Park View Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. However, when Fiogret failed to liquidate its debt, AMCON appointed a receiver/manager, Messrs Kunle Ogunba and Associate to ensure the repayment of the debt. The petitioner stated that they were constrained to write the petition to the Special Fraud Unit to unravel the activities of the directors of Fiogret, as it relates to the possession of a cloned Certificate of Occupancy and illegal carting away of large volume of stock fish from the warehouse at Apapa.

The petitioner alleged that the Directors forcefully broke into the premises and disposed the receiver/manager of the property during the pending of an order of the court to that effect. Besides, the petitioner alleged that the loan facility availed to Fiogret Limited by Oceanic Bank was secured by a charge on property known as Plot 32, Parkview Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos. But, a search carried out by AMCON at the land registry in respect of the Certificate of Occupancy, revealed that the same property has been previously mortgaged to another bank before same was fraudulently offered to Oceanic Bank. It would be recalled that, Kunle Ogunba, on March 1, 2013, legally took over as receiver manager the assets of Fiogret company includ-

ing one at 13A Ijora Causeway, Lagos that houses various pieces of frozen fish. But, Fiogret lawyer filed an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court and also praying it to set aside its interim order. However, AMCON was shocked that while the ruling of the court was pending the directors of the company forcefully entered the company at 13A Ijora Causeway Lagos, chased the private security personnel stationed at the premises away and carted away more than 30 trailers of frozen fish to an unknown destination. In respect of these allegations, AMCON is asking the Commissioner of Police in charge of Special Fraud Units to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators to book.

NURTW faction calls for election in Ondo HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE


new crisis is brewing in the Ondo State chapter of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, just as a faction has called for dissolution of the state executive council. This call was contained in a letter by the Secretary of the Peace Movement Committee of the Union, Mayowa Olofiniyi and forwarded to the national headquarters of the union in Abuja. Olofiniyi drew the attention of the national body to the expiration of the tenure of the Chairman in the state, Chief Obayoriade Oladutele. He recalled that the Oladutele led executive committee was elected in May, 2009 under the supervision of the former national Chairman, late Gidado Hamman. He said “since the executive has four year tenure, the Obayoriade’s stay in the office expired on April 19th, 2013. Since section 17 of the NURTW Constitution empowers you to dissolve the state executive following the expiration of the tenure, we urged you to do so.” Similarly, the Peace Movement also forwarded a letter to Governor, Olusegun Mimiko to intervene to ensure peace in all the branches in the state. The body urged the governor to instruct the state executive to set machinery in motion for the conduct of fresh elections. It however urged the national body to dissolve the state executive and appoint a caretaker committee to run affairs of the union pending the next election

C & S praying band holds revival


he Praying Band of Cherubim and Seraphim Unification Church of Nigeria, Ijo Ita-Balogun on (Monday, June 10) began a 7 – day power packed revival with the theme: The Righteous Cry and the Lord heareath, taken from Psalm 34:17. The programme holding at the national headquarters of the church, Akintan Street, Mushin, would hold from 5 pm, Monday to Friday, 4 pm on Saturday and 3 pm on Sunday, the grand finale. Ministering are Most Snr. Apostle J.O. Fagbolade, Mother-in-Israel, F.T. Ashaka and Special Apst. O.O. Sowande.


Community Mirror

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Commercial motorcyclists appeal to IGP over harassment FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA


ommercial motorcyclists in Ogun State under the aegis of Anacowa Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association have appealed to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to save them from alleged incessant harassment by police in the

state. The association accused the police of conniving with the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria, ACOMORAN, and Association of Motorcycle Owners and Riders of Nigeria, AMORAN, to coerce them into joining their union. At a press conference, the

Chairman of ANACOWA, Alhaji Nurudeen Shogeyinbo claimed that more than 50 of its members have been arrested in the state by the police on frivolous charges. He alleged the police have been arresting, detaining and prosecuting commercial motorcyclists for refusal to obtain the daily revenue ticket of an association they do not belong

to. Shogeyinbo, also alleged the police was violating an existing court judgment on the matter and threatened that his association may institute a contempt proceeding for allegedly violating a court judgment. He stated that the judgment of a state High Court in suit number AB/234/2011

already held that members of his association could operate freely as commercial motorcyclists without necessarily joining the existing associations recognised by the state government. ANACOWA state chairman however, lamented that the authorities have refused to accord his association due recognition notwithstanding

the valid court judgment. “We hereby call on the Inspector General of Police, eminent personalities and well meaning Nigerians to impress on the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State, Mr. Ikemefuna Okoye and the leadership of ACOMORAN and AMORAN to operate within the confines of the law�. He claimed that the police have been arresting, detaining and prosecuting members of ANACOWA since 2011, when a House of Assembly resolution recognising only two associations was passed.

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror


World News

Erdogan gives final warning to Turkish protesters





outh Africa’s leader called on his country yesterday to remember Nelson Mandela not only for his years as the nation’s first black president but also for his time as a revolutionary and a prisoner as the beloved figure spent his sixth day in the hospital. In an address to parliament, President Jacob Zuma said South Africans should not create a “superficial” image of Mandela but remember his lifetime of work. Zuma also spoke of the need to improve the lives of the country’s black majority, many of whom live in poverty nearly two decades after the end of racist white rule. Mandela yesterday spent a sixth day in the hospital where he is being treated for a recurring lung infection. There was no update on his condition by late afternoon South Africa time. Zuma on Wednesday reported that Mandela was responding better to treatment. Family members again visited the former president. The leader of South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement, Mandela spent 27 years in prison during white racist rule. He was freed in 1990 and became South Africa’s first black president in 1994. Mandela’s official Twitter feed noted that yesterday was the 49th anniversary of the former president’s arrival at Robben Island,

“It’s not the first time that they do this to challenge and embarrass the American administration. The Palestinian position is clear. The settlement activities are illegal” –Nimr Hamad Adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

S/Africa welcomes progress as Mandela spends 6th day in hospital

Zenani Dlamini-Mandela, right, and unidentified family members at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated in Pretoria, South Africa, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

the prison off the coast of Cape Town where he spent the majority of his incarceration. Meanwhile, South Africa’s government is pleased that ex-President Nelson Mandela is responding well to treatment in hospital, it said in a statement. The cabinet, which met on Wednesday, wished a speedy recovery to Mr Mandela, regarded as the father of the nation. The 94 year old is spending his sixth day in a Pretoria hospital suffering from a recurrent lung infection. Earlier, President Jacob Zuma

said he was happy with Mr Mandela’s progress after a “difficult few days”. Mr Mandela’s grandson and family heir, Mandla, said the family had “been deeply touched” by the concern shown for Mr Mandela’s health. Mandela’s wife Graca Machel has been at his bedside regularly since calling off a trip to London last week. His daughter Zenani, who is the ambassador to Argentina, has also returned to South Africa to visit him. Mandela was elected South Af-

rica’s first black president in 1994 after leading the struggle against white minority rule. He stepped down five years later. “Cabinet wishes [former] President Nelson Mandela a speedy recovery and reassures the nation that he is receiving the best medical care,” a government statement, published on Thursday, said. “Cabinet is pleased that he is responding well to treatment and reiterates the request for the media and the public to respect the privacy of the former president and his family during this period.”

Mugabe announces Zimbabwe’s elections for July 31


imbabwe’s president officially announced yesterday that elections will go ahead next month despite opposition from the prime minister, setting the stage for a political standoff between the long time rivals. In an official government notice Thursday, President Robert Mugabe said that he was empow-

ered to set the presidential election for July 31. Legislative and local elections will also take place that day, and a presidential runoff will be held Sept. 11 if necessary, the notice said. Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has strongly objected to holding elections next month, accusing Mugabe of choosing the date uni-

Police officers on parade as President Robert Mugabe inspects the guard of honour, in Harare, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

laterally and saying that he will not accept Mugabe’s decision. “I appeal to fellow Zimbabweans to remain calm and vigilant in the face of this provocation and illegality,” Tsvangirai said earlier Thursday before the notice was officially released. He said he had received a letter from Mugabe informing him of the decision. Mugabe was forced by regional leaders to form a coalition government with former opposition leader Tsvangirai after violent and disputed elections in 2008. The coalition agreement demands its leaders consult and agree on major policy decisions including a timeframe for fresh polls. The long time president has said he is abiding by a court ruling calling for the vote to go ahead in July. Tsvangirai, though, claims the lawsuit was instigated by Mugabe’s loyalists eager for early

polls so that they can take advantage of loopholes in the electoral laws to rig the vote. Tsvangirai said Thursday that Mugabe is acting “unconstitutionally and unlawfully” because the special powers that he is claiming are not enshrined in the nation’s new constitution, which was overwhelmingly accepted in a referendum vote in March. Tsvangirai also said Mugabe’s push for early polls is a deliberate attempt to avoid ending bias in his dominant, loyalist state media and carry out reforms in the police and military blamed for stateorchestrated violence in previous elections. “I will not let Zimbabweans be frog-marched into another illegitimate and violent election,” Tsvangirai said yesterday. Mugabe has repeatedly dismissed calls for reforms in the security services.


Nigerian group in UK backs Jonathan’s fight against terror

The group staged a protest against terrorism at the office of the British Prime Minister and the Nigerian High Commission in London. A U.K. based Nigerian group, VISTA International, yesterday in London called for global support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s fight against terrorism in the country. The group stated its position during a protest at No.10 Downing Street office of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Nigerian High Commission in London. Members of the group who braved the windy spring weather carried placards some of which read “Support Goodluck Jonathan’s effort to rid Nigeria of terrorism’’,” We say no to terrorism’’, and “Stop conspiracy to destabilise Nigeria’’. The group’s publicity secretary, Yunana Shibkau, who spoke on the development, said that a letter calling for U.K.’s support had been sent to Cameron’s office. He stressed the need for both nations to be strategic partners in the fight against terror.

Ethiopia snubs Egypt, ratifies Nile treaty

Ethiopia’s parliament unanimously ratified yesterday a treaty that strips Egypt of its right to the lion’s share of the Nile river waters, raising the political temperature in a dispute between Cairo and Addis Ababa over the construction of a dam. The parliament’s move follows days of irate exchanges between two of Africa’s most populous nations over Ethiopia’s new hydroelectric plant, which Egypt fears will reduce a water supply vital for its 84 million people. Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said on Monday he did not want “war” but would keep “all options open”, prompting Ethiopia to say it was ready to defend its $4.7 billion Great Renaissance Dam near the border with Sudan.

Egyptian pilots stage protest, 22 flights delayed

Egyptian pilots working for the national carrier staged a 10-hour sit-in protest yesterday, delaying 22 flights in an effort to press their demands for management changes and bonus payments. It was the second protest involving the Cairo International Airport this month. Egypt has been hit by a wave of street rallies and strikes in the two years since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak. The turmoil has fed growing economic and political woes, often leaving the country struggling to retain a semblance of normalcy. An opposition youth movement is planning massive street protests later this month to demand the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.


World News

WORLD BULLETIN Haiti’s weather shocks: UN warns 1.5 million people face severe hunger The United Nations food relief agency said it remained extremely concerned by the plight of 1.5 million people in Haiti who need food assistance, following extreme weather conditions and poor harvests. In addition to the 1.5 million people facing food insecurity, a further 6.7 million people in Haiti are struggling to meet their own food needs on a regular basis. Before the hurricane season, which runs from June to November, the World Food Programme (WFP) had pre-positioned emergency supplies to cover the needs of 300,000 people for two days with ready-to-use food and for four weeks with staple food rations. The agency also had established agreements with 15 partners and had begun emergency distribution to 200,000 beneficiaries through schools in the worst-affected communities. In a press briefing in Geneva, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said the agency plans to assist 1.1 million people in 2013, more than half of them children, through school meals and specialized food to treat malnutrition.

British lawmaker accuses Google of dodging taxes An influential committee of British lawmakers accused search giant Google of dodging its taxes yesterday in a scathing report that said the U.S. Internet company took on highly contrived arrangements serving no purpose other than to avoid paying its fair share. The report came after testimony by Google Vice President Matt Brittin, who tried to persuade members of parliament’s Public Accounts Committee that his company was transparent and fair. Committee chair Margaret Hodge rejected arguments that Google’s advertising sales take place in Ireland and not the U.K. “Google brazenly argued before this committee that its tax arrangements in the U.K. are defensible and lawful,” she wrote, adding that the “argument is deeply unconvincing and has been undermined by information from whistleblowers, including ex-employees of Google, who told us that U.K.-based staff are engaged in selling.”

Ex- Iran’s president opposes election boycott

On the eve of Iran’s presidential elections, a former Iranian president blocked from a comeback bid urged voters yesterday not to boycott the vote in protest over crackdowns on dissent or in anger over his exclusion from the race. The appeal by former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani came in response to persistent calls by many among reform-minded voters to stay away from Friday’s election, despite the apparent rising profile of moderate candidate Hasan Rowhani, a former nuclear negotiator. The boycott drive seeks to mount a symbolic rebuke to Iran’s ruling system after years of arrests and pressures against opposition forces since the disputed re-election in 2009 of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran’s constitution bars Ahmadinejad from running for a third consecutive term, though he could run in the future.

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror

Erdogan gives final warning to Turkish protesters


urkey’s prime minister issued a “final warning” to protesters yesterday, demanding that they end their occupation of a park next to Istanbul’s landmark Taksim Square. Sticking to his trademark defiant tone, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also rejected condemnation by the European Parliament over the excessive use of force by Turkish riot police against demonstrators. The comments show that Erdogan appears determined to end two weeks of widespread protests that have trained an unflattering spotlight on his Islamic-rooted government and have morphed into the biggest street unrest of his 10-year tenure. “We have arrived at the end of our patience,” Erdogan told local party leaders in Ankara, the capital. “I am giving you my final warning,” he said, issuing the ultimatum to the thousands of holdouts in a sit-in in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which is next to the square. He urged parents with children at the park to convince them to pack up and go home. The protests erupted May 31 after a violent police crackdown on a sit-in by activists objecting to a development project that would cut down the trees in Gezi Park and replace them with a replica of Ottoman-era barracks. The demonstrations then spread to dozens of cities, rallying tens of thousands of people each night, and shifted into a broader protest over Erdogan’s rule. Police have repeatedly fired

Cars and pedestrian use the Taksim Square as a few protesters gather at a barricade in Istanbul, yesterday.

water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters; five people, including a police officer, have died and over 5,000 people and 600 police have been reported injured. Protesters object to what they say is the prime minister’s increasingly authoritarian style and his perceived attempts to impose his religious and conservative views on a country with secular laws — charges he rejects. Erdogan also lashed out at the European Parliament over its non-binding resolution Thursday. In a show-of-hands vote suggestive of a broad majority, the EU Parliament expressed its concern over “the disproportionate and excessive use of force” by Turkish police.

The EU assembly said it “deplores the reactions of the Turkish Government and of Prime Minister Erdogan” — and accused him of increasing the polarization of the situation. Just minutes before the EU legislature voted, Erdogan drew raucous applause among Turkish party leaders by saying: “I won’t recognize the decision that the European Union Parliament is going to take about us ... Who do you think you are by taking such a decision?” On Wednesday, in an effort to calm the protests, Erdogan’s Justice and Development party proposed holding a referendum on the Gezi Park development plan. The protesters who have camped out in Gezi Park by the thousands have served as a base

Nearly 93,000 killed in Syrian war –UN


early 93,000 people have been confirmed killed in Syria since an uprising against President Bashar Assad began more than two years ago, the U.N. said yesterday, a sharp rise in the death toll as the fighting turns increasingly sectarian and the carnage gripping the country appears unstoppable. The grim benchmark came as Assad’s regime has scored a series of battlefield successes against the rebels seeking his ouster and international efforts to forge a round of peace talks have stalled. After regaining control of the strategic

town of Qusair near the border with Lebanon, regime forces appear set on securing control of the central provinces of Homs and Hama, a linchpin area linking Damascus with regime strongholds on the Mediterranean coast, and Aleppo to the north. In continued violence, a mortar round slammed into an area near the runway at the Damascus International Airport Thursday, briefly disrupting flights to and from the Syrian capital, officials said, a few weeks after the government announced it had secured the airport road that had been tar-

Members of the free Syrian Army preparing their weapons, in the neighbourhood of al-Amerieh in Aleppo, Syria, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

geted by rebels in the past. It was the first known attack to hit inside the airport, located south of the capital. The country’s transportation minister Mahmoud Ibrahim Said told Syrian TV that a mortar round fired by “terrorists” struck near a warehouse, breaking its windows and wounding a worker there. He said the attack delayed the landing of two incoming flights, from Latakia and Kuwait, as well as the takeoff of a Syrian flight to Baghdad. No passengers were harmed and no planes were damaged, he said. The regime refers to rebels as “terrorists.” Tarek Wahibi, head of operations at the airport, said takeoff and landing then resumed normally. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebel fighters had targeted the airport with homemade rockets. Rebels also battled regime forces for control of a key military base in the central Hama province after chasing soldiers out and setting fire to installations there, activists said.


for even larger numbers of protesters who have congregated by the tens of thousands on Taksim Square — usually in the evening, after work. On Tuesday, police drove back protesters from the square in a particularly forceful manner, ripping down their banners and barricades and clearing the way for automobile traffic to return. In his speech yesterday, Erdogan said he had instructed police that “we cannot allow lawbreakers to hang around freely in this square ... We will clean the square.” Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu went on a nationallytelevised talk show Thursday and offered to meet with the demonstrators.

Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from wife


ews Corporation’s boss Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife Wendi Deng, the company confirms. The couple, who were married in 1999, have two children together. According to a Hollywood gossip website, the couple filed their divorce papers at the New York state supreme court on Thursday morning. In 2011, Deng famously leapt to her husband’s defence to slap a protester who threw a pie at him as British MPs quizzed him over phone-hacking. Murdoch reportedly met his Chinese-born third wife in 1997, at a company party. They were married two years later, weeks after his divorce from Anna Mann. The media mogul was reported to have paid $1.7bn (£1bn) in his divorce settlement from his last wife, according to CNBC news. The BBC’s Robert Peston reports that the couple had a prenuptial agreement and have held shares in trust for their children, so the divorce between Mr Murdoch and Ms Deng divorce is not likely to lessen the magnate’s grip on his media empire.

National Mirror



xecutive Director, Human Rights Monitor, HRM, Festus Okoye, yesterday said many of the speakers of the state Houses of Assembly were doing the work of their governors rather than their legislative functions. Okoye, who was also a member of the Justice


Friday, June 14, 2013


Speakers now do governors’ bidding –Okoye

Lawal Uwais Electoral Reform Committee, disclosed that constituency projects, which had become the order of the day in Nigeria, were not part of the lawmakers’ mandate. He, however, said the constituency projects had become necessary to make the lawmakers relevant in their constituencies in

view of the endemic poverty and the fact that the people did not know what their legislators ought to be doing for them. Okoye spoke as the guest speaker at a one-day seminar entitled: “The Role of a Legislator in a Democracy,” organised by the Centre for Development and Rights Advocacy, CEDRA,

in Kaduna. He said the situation had gone bad that even the executive used it to blackmail some of the lawmakers. The constitutional lawyer added that constituency projects had now become a yardstick to measure the performance of the lawmakers.

He said: “Governors in almost all cases don’t allow the legislature in their states to perform and some of them are so powerful that even the speakers of the Assemblies resume work in the Governor’s Office every morning instead of the state House of Assembly complex. “Apart from that, they

are supposed to undertake oversight functions, check the excesses of the executive, but many of them have compromised and as such hinder them from performing their duties effectively. “It is not their responsibility to provide boreholes, culvert, buy cars and motorcycles for the people.”

We’ll eliminate quackery, says COREN JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA


President, Kunak Foundation, Mr. Gideon Nyan (left) and Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Patrick Maigari, at the foundation’s Stakeholders’ Forum in Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Ensure peace, unity, Bayero tells traditional rulers AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO


he Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, yesterday urged traditional rulers to be committed to the promotion of peace, unity, stability and development of the country. Bayero made the call while receiving the National Development Summit of Traditional Rulers, NDSTR, in his palace. He noted the need for traditional rulers to complement government’s effort to solve security problems bedevilling the country. The NDSTR led by the Programmes Chairman, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel E. Sideso (Abe 1 and Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom) to com-

miserate with the emir over the death of his wife and the terrorists’ attack on him last year. Sideso, however, congratulated the emir on his 50th anniversary on the throne. He said: “We are here to console your emirate over the unfortunate incidents of the past during which lives were lost, including your personal aide. “We are also deeply touched by the death of your dear wife. We pray that God will give you the fortitude to bear the loss. Please accept our heartfelt sympathy. “We also pray that God will strengthen you in your tireless efforts to promote peace in Kano State. “This summit condemns in totality the activities of

insurgents in the North generally and will always stand by the government and the law enforcement agencies in their struggle to maintain law and order. “We shall not relent in our role as traditional rulers to continue to educate our subjects on the importance of peace. The summit is very grateful to you for continually sending Alhaji Tijani Abubakar, Tafidan Kano, to represent you at our events. It shows your natural devotion to national unity, peace and progress.” On the 50th anniversary celebration coming up on Saturday, the NDSTR said “your reign has made a tremendous difference in the affairs of Kano State. By our estimation, your reign is one of the

best that Kano has ever seen. “You are a dogged and proven advocate of peace, an inspiration to leaders, a champion of economic development and a man of profound garlands.” According to the Ovie, NDSTR is designed to provide a forum for stakeholders to interact and foster friendship towards the making of a just and egalitarian society, proffer ideas on how to maximise the potentials of traditional rulers in grassroots administration through constitutional empowerment. He added: “The summit has been very helpful in smothering the scourge of tribal bitterness, religious acrimony, terrorism and kidnapping.

20 poachers arrested at Jos Wildlife Park JAMES ABRAHAM JOS


olice in Plateau State have arrested about 20 people suspected to be hunting for animals illegally at the popular Jos Wildlife Park. It was learnt that the

poachers broke into the park late Wednesday night before they were caught. The suspects were arrested by the security operatives at the wildlife park with assistance from youths in the community. It was also gathered that the suspects were later hand-

ed over to the police for further investigation. When contacted, the Commissioner for Tourism, Sylvalus Dangtoe, confirmed the story. He, however, said he was yet to ascertain the actual number of poachers arrested. The state Police Public Re-

lations Officer, DSP Felicia Anslem, however, said those arrested were not poachers but illegal miners. Anslem added that the suspects had been charged. But villagers have dismissed the police claim. They insisted that those arrested were poachers.

ouncil for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, COREN, said it would spare no effort to check the proliferation of quacks in its profession. The COREN President, Mr. Kashim Abdul Ali, gave the assurance yesterday in Katsina State during the inauguration of the state Inspectorate of COREN Engineering Regulation Monitoring, ERM. Ali promised that the council would “leave no stone unturned” and stop at nothing in bringing an end to quackery in the engineering profession. The president, who spoke through the body’s Registrar, Habila Maliki, noted that quackery was

responsible for incessant cases of building collapse in the country. He, therefore, urged individuals and organisations to seek services of professional engineers and other relevant stakeholders in the sector. According to him, ERM is introduced to ensure people get value for money in engineering projects in line with COREN’s mandate of ensuring that engineering is practised in line with acceptable standards. Ali urged ERM to eliminate quackery in Katsina State by ensuring that only registered and qualified engineers handled engineering projects. He also called on the newly inaugurated inspectors to exhibit dedication and professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

‘Support for mining sector will create jobs’ JAMES ABRAHAM JOS


takeholders in the mining sector yesterday decried what they called the continued neglect of the sector by the government. The National President of Progressive Miners Association of Nigeria, Mr. Sunday Ekozin, who spoke on behalf of the stakeholders in Jos, called on the Federal Government to partner with the association to move the mining industry forward. Ekozin said if given support by the government and the stakeholders, the association would create jobs for the country’s teeming youths. While bemoaning the negative effect of mining particularly in Plateau State, he said illegal activities of some miners had brought untold hardship on the people as most of the gully erosion had been traced to illegal mining. Ekozin said the state had

an active mining industry 30 years ago, but now, mining activities were at their lowest ebb owing to lack of proper regulation and the posture of government towards it, which had given room for illegal mining across the state. He said organised mining started in Nigeria, particularly in Plateau State in 1904, adding that during the colonial period, there was systematic mining, which was done according to international standard. The president noted that multinational companies carried out mechanised mining, adding that the indigenisation policy introduced by government marked the collapse of mechanised mining. Things, he said, began to deteriorate until illegal mining became the order of the day, with its attendant problems. Ekozin said the level of control by the government was zero, making the sector to be in a terrible crisis.



Friday, June 14, 2013

Pa Benedict Odiase


he former Director of Music and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Pa Benedict Elide Odiase (MON), passed on June 12, 2013 night at the age of 79. The composer of Nigeria’s national anthem, died at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Lagos after a brief illness. Pa Odiase once served as a Deputy Commissioner of Police. He retired from the Nigeria Police in 1992. During his police days, he also served as the Music Director of Nigeria Police Band. Pa Odiase wrote “Arise, O Compatriots” in May 1978 which replaced the then National anthem “ Nigeria, We Hail Thee”. In his condolence message to the family of the deceased, President Jonathan believes that the late police officer, will always be remembered and honoured whenever the National Anthem which captures the vision of Nigeria as a great nation is played.

Fatai (Rolling Dollar) Olagunju


usic maestro, Fatai Olayiwola Olagunju popularly known as Fatai Rolling Dollar was born on July 22, 1926 in Lagos as a prince of the royal family of Olayiwola Olagunju, originally from Ede, in the present Osun State. He attended schools in Lagos and later moved to Ede at the age of sixteen, upon the death of his father. He started his musical career in 1953 and had mentored other great musicians like Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and the late Orlando Owoh, among others. Known for his dexterity at playing the guitar, Rolling Dollar’s last major hit was “Won Kere Si Number Wa’’. In 1957, he formed an eight-piece band called Fatai Rolling Dollar and his African Rhythm Band, and they recorded numerous seven-inch singles for Phillips West Africa Records. In this line-up was a young budding star, Ebenezer Obey, who played Maracas in the band. They had some hits with Phillips, and then decamped to Jofabro/EMI where they recorded over one hundred and fifty singles and had many hits for the company including “Sisi Jaiye Jaiye” and “Won Bumi”. After decades of struggling to make ends meet and musical doldrums, Rolling Dollar bounced back to life after the French

Felicia Ilori Oluwadare


ate Madam Felicia Ilori Omolayo Oluadare was born on February 8, 1943 to the family of Late Chief and Princess Dinuola Asaolu, the Elemo of Okepa Quarters, Ilawe Ekiti.

Pastor Shem Temiyeshe


astor Shem Temiyeshe Joshua was born on July 1, 1947 to Joshua and Salot Ogunyemi in Imore Ilaje in the present day Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State. He attended Awori Modern School, Ojo and afterward was enlisted in the Nigerian police force where he was drafted to the special branch which later became the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO). In the Second Republic, he was the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the then governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande. He retired from active service in 1993 as head of operations, Oyo State in the State Security Service (SSS). After his retirement, he was called into the service of God and became the founder of Redeemed Soul Evangelical Church. Until his death, he was the chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Onireke Zone, Lagos. He has authored several books amongst which is: Christian In Politics and Power In The Word.

Cultural Centre, in Lagos, brought him back into public consciousness. He later got a higher lift through Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was then the Lagos State governor. The late musician was given a house in one of the low cost housing estates in New Oko Oba, Lagos by the Lagos State Government.

Her mother, Princess Dinuola Akutuyebe was a daughter of the late Alawe of Ilawe Ekiti, Oba Afunbiokin Ademileka and highly respected Eyelori Osunmodewe. Mama Felicia Oluwadare came from a humble background and never had the privilege of attending school. She worked as a maid for a rich cocoa merchant in Ilawe Ekiti, Chief Oloye, the yester-years chairman of Cocoa Merchants Association in Ilawe Ekiti. While there, she was fascinated by the way the man sent his children to school and she made up her mind to do likewise for her younger ones and children. The little savings she made while in Chief Oloye’s house was used to augment the feeding of her younger ones. When she left the man’s house, she started petty trading. She traded by hawking children’s wares. It was during the cause of hawking her wares she met with Pa. John Oluwadare Bejide (aka Ajemusun).

Wahab Dosunmu


ormer chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and Second Republic minister, Dr Wahab Dosunmu died on June 9, 2013 after a brief illness at a United States of America hospital. He was aged 74. The late politician was one of those who fought for the actualization of the June 12, 1993 presidential mandate of the late Chief M.K.O Abiola through NADECO. Wahab Dosunmu he was an elected member to the Nigerian Senate from 1999-2003 under the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD). He later defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Dosunmu was a vibrant member of the Senate where he was Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology till 2003. During the 1990s, he was prominent in the struggle to enthrone the presumed winner of the June 12 presidential election of 1993. He was Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Malaysia between 2004 and 2007. The Lagos State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, described Dosunmu’s death as a big loss to the

Adebayo Olujohungbe


National Mirror

he remains of a distinguished Nigerian Haematologist and Oncologist, Dr. Adebayo Olujohungbe will be buried in the United Kingdom on Monday, June 17, 2013, the family has announced. Dr. Olujohungbe who was born in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria on June 3, 1963, passed on in Canada on May 26, 2013, few days to his 50th birthday. According to the family announcement, a service of songs will hold for the deceased from

party. In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani, the party said: “The unfortunate sudden death of our great leader and true Lagosian, former Works Minister, Senator Wahab Dosunmu, has just filtered into our secretariat. “The death is a big loss to our party at this time. Indeed, he was one of our aces for the 2015 elections. May his soul rest in peace.”

7-9pm at Dean Row Village Hall, Browns Lane, Wimslow Sk9 2BR. On Monday June 17, his remains will lie in state from 10 to 11 am at Jonathan Alcock and Sons Ltd., 1-3 Brook Road, Cheadle SK8 1PQ, followed by the funeral service at Bramhall Methodist Church, 23 Bramhall Lane South, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 1AL. Interment will follow at Wiimslow Cemetery, Manchester Road, Wimslow SK9 2LE while there will be a post-burial reception at the Mere Resort, Chester Road, Knutsford, Cheshire WA16 6LJ (near M6 for routes to London, Liverpool)

Born to the late Funsho and Olabisi Olujohungbe, Dr. Olujohungbe was diagnosed early in life with Sickle Cell Disease. An exceptionally brilliant child, he then decided to study Medicine in order to combat the disease and help others in similar situations. Dr. Olujohungbe subsequently studied Medicine at the University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Nigeria before undertaking specialized studies in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Pathology in London and Liverpool, United Kingdom between 1989 and 2006. He was until his death an Associate Professor in the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Friday, June 14, 2013

National Mirror



My plan for Blues is kept under wraps. It will begin to manifest in the weeks going to August

Omonia stay delights Alabi



Onazi blow for Nigeria


S Lazio’s midfielder, Ogenyi Onazi, will not be part of the Nigerian team to the FIFA Confederation Cup after sustaining a knee injury in Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier with Namibia in Windhoek. “I thought it was

something I could manage when it happened, but there was no point pushing myself to the extreme,” 20-year-old combative player said yesterday. “Unfortunately, it means I will miss our Confederations Cup in Brazil,” he lamented.

W/Cup qualifiers: CIV expels key players

Football de Ivorien Federation (FIF) President, Sidy Diallo, several clubs’ presidents and a huge crowd of Elephants’ fans saw the scene. The enraged Diallo promptly left the stadium, apparently to meet with officials before the sanction came yesterday. Coach Sabri Lamouchi will leave Abidjan on Thursday morning without two of his defensive midfielders, to head to Dar Es Salaam where the Elephants will face Tanzania on Sunday in the 5th round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.

D Controversy has dogged Super Eagles’ preparation for the FIFA Confederation Cup, despite recent success

Confed Cup preparation hits hitch …Eagles stuck in Windhoek over bonus row




eports from Windhoek yesterday indicated that the Super Eagles failed to board a scheduled South Africa Airways from Namibia onward Sao Paolo, Brazil where the team would connect another flight to the Belo Horizonte venue of the FIFA Confederation Cup competition which begins on Sunday. The reports said the Nigerian team which forced Namibia to a 1-1 draw in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday, was expected to depart Windhoek early yesterday for Johannesburg but the players and officials opted to remain in the hotel after a disagreement with the Nigeria Football Federation over bonus accruing from the qualifier with Kenya a week earlier in Nairobi which the Eagles won 1-0. “The team is not on board and all


the seats in the business class are empty,” a Nigerian journalist at the Windhoek airport told “Other passengers on this flight have been asking me when the players will board,” the journalist added. Reports said the Eagles had insisted they be paid at least $5, 000 for draw against Brave Warriors of Namibia after they were offered a $2,500-a-man bonus, a claim frowned at by the Nigeria Football Federation which insisted that the players leave the hotel for the airport before outstanding issues were resolved. National Mirror, however, gathered that the matter was expected to take an ugly dimension as management of the Windhoek Safari Court Hotel where Eagles were camped had threatened to eject the contingent after the stay expired. According to the reports, a players’ revolt had been quelled in Nairobi al-

though the NFF officials denied the incident. President General of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, expressed dismay at the development, saying the players should not have been shortchanged by the authorities. “I’m not happy with this situation as it is not good if we are going to the Confederations Cup and the players are not happy,” Ladipo said in the Namibian capital yesterday, adding, “The government should assist the NFF in finding a solution to this issue.” Meanwhile, Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, has said the team will seal qualification for the final round of the Brazil 2014 elimination series at home against Malawi in September. “But I think the tie with Namibia was a good result for us. It only means we have to finish the job in September,” the gaffer said.

efensive midfielders Jean-Jacques Gosso and Abdul Razack were yesterday expelled from the Cote d’Ivoire team after fighting at the end of a training session at the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium on Wednesday. Both players swung at each other for no apparent reason as the training neared climax and it took several teammates and staff members to separate them, even as

Mbesuma targets Crocodiles’ scalp

hipolopolo striker, Collins Mbesuma, says he is looking forward to playing his first game against Crocodiles of Sudan in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Mbesuma missed the controversial first leg meeting on June 2, 2012 that Zambia lost 2-0 in Khartoum before getting three free points off Sudan after the latter used an ineligible player. The Orlando Pirates striker only re-

turned to the team last November at the end of a 10-month exile. “We have put behind the 4-0 win over Lesotho last weekend and are firmly focused on Sudan this weekend,” he said after training yesterday. “The Sudanese have to know that I am around and I have to do my best so that they can feel me that I am there,” he added. Mbesuma is Zambia’s top scorer in

2013 with three goals in five games after picking up his third against Lesotho. He also scored against Lesotho in the first leg meeting that ended 1-1 in Maseru on March 24. Zambia leads Group D on 10 points, one more than Ghana who only plays 24 hours later away to third placed Lesotho who has two points. Sudan sits bottom of the log on one point after four games.

Jean-Jacques Gosso and Abdul Razack fight while a mate intervenes on Wednesday



Friday, June 14, 2013

Deepwater targets title defence

NTF aims new dawn YEMI OLUS


igeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF) has announced reforms that will ensure adequate welfare for the athletes. According to the NTF President, George Ashiru, the reforms would require athletes competing at national events to have an annually renewable license which contains medical insurance, while coaches and referees will also benefit. “Every national athlete will be part of the scheme, while those at clubs and states level might not be involved in the exercise except when they take part in any national competition,” Ashiru explained. “It is the best practice all over the world and we cannot be an exception,” he added. “We will keep an official data of all active players, instructors and referees in taekwondo as well as provide professional development for each category of members. “The exercise will also help to establish a code of conduct to protect the sport from abuse while it will protect the public from unscrupulous persons masquerading as coaches and instructors.” The NTF also announced what it called corporate restructuring of the various departments aimed at assisting the board in effective administration. The departments include executive board, president, secretariat, secretary general, technical department, coaching and referee directorate, games, international, collegiate, research and development, media, women and youth development, marketing and finance while protocol and welfare make up the ad hoc departments. “Qualified individuals would be engaged to take charge of each department with a view to attracting corporate and individual sponsorships,” Ashiru submitted.

NTF boss, Ashiru

National Mirror


R High jumper Doreen Amata will be among the star attractions at the Warri Grand Prix

Athletes set to burn Warri tracks YEMI OLUS


he Confederation of African Athletics (CAA)/Warri Grand Prix takes centre stage today with Nigeria’s top athletes in attendance. USA-based athletes like Regina George, Abiola Onakoya, Noah Akwu, Fred Agbaje, Ajoke Odumosu, Selim Nurudeen and Amaka Ogoegbunam will be engaged in a keen contest against the home-based lads, as well as athletes from Ghana, Cameroon, Fiji Islands and Ethiopia who have arrived for the one-day event. George tops the list of the women’s 400m this season with a time of 51.00secs, followed by Olympian Omolara Omotoso (51.67 who is expected to give a good account of herself in Warri. Returnee Ogoegbunam is expected to play second fiddle to African Champion, Odumosu who posted a season’s best of 55.73secs in contrast to the former’s 58.57secs.


Nigeria’s High Jump queen and record holder, Doreen Amata, is targeting qualification for the World Championships scheduled to hold in Russia in August. The AllAfrica Games champion needs to jump just one metre higher than her season’s best of 1.91m to hit the ‘B’ qualifying standard of Moscow 2013. Amata’s coach, Kola Adebayo, is confident of the athlete’s ability to break her five-year old record of 1.95m after she had spent the better part of the season training and competing in Europe. The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) is however concerned about the ability of the men’s relay teams to meet the qualifying standards for the World Championships. Technical Director of the AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama, said he expected the athletes to shine in the event where about four relay teams for the 4x100m and 4x400m would be presented in addition to athletes that competed in the AFN Golden League.

eigning champion of Nigeria Women’s Basketball League, Deepwater Basketball Club of Lagos will seek to defend its title in the final of the 9th Zenith Bank-sponsored event billed for the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos tomorrow, In the first semi- finals decided yesterday, Deepwater defeated Sunshine Angels of Akure 80-46 to qualify for the finals. The Lateef Erinfolami-tutored Deepwater maintained its unbeaten run after winning all the matches to lead group A that comprised nine teams. The team, sponsored by First Deepwater Discovery Limited, continued its impressive run when the second phase dunked off in Asaba, Delta State. Playing against hard fighting teams like IGP Queens, Plateau Rocks, FCT Angels and Coal City Queens, the defending champion went undefeated in Asaba on its way to the Lagos final playoff. Deepwater had proved bookmakers right by winning all its matches in the first round of the final eight in Lagos.

NBBF boss, Umar

Boxing: Haye, Tyson bout due soon

Fury recently announced 08052002933, 08023145285. romoter Eddie Hearn has said that the heavy- “We are now at a stage where himself in America by singweight showdown be- this is close to happening. It’s ing after his stoppage win Steve Cunningham, tween David Haye and Tyson a brilliant fight between a for- over Fury has nearly been final- mer world champion and an while Haye also attracts plenup-and-coming prospect in ty of headlines with his anised. tics, including his infamous There has been increased Tyson Fury. “If this fight is going to hap- t-shirt featuring the severed speculation about a blockpen it will certainly be sorted heads of Vitali and Wladimir buster bout before the end of the year and Hearn has con- out by the end of this month.” Klitschko. firmed that talks are almost complete over the clash, expected to be on September 28 in Manchester. Both outspoken boxers have waged a war of words in recent months and appear set to settle their differences inside the ring if minor details about the deal can be ironed out. “It is a fight that will have enormous interest and it could generate one of the biggest pay-per-view figures of all time,” Hearn said yesterday. “I believe they want the contest to take place because every fighter believes he can David Haye (l) and Tyson Fury during a past bout beat another fighter.

Hearn is expecting plenty more hype ahead of their eagerly anticipated encounter. “I have to say that Tyson is a true character in a sport where we don’t have enough characters anymore,” he said, adding, “The build-up could make it one of the most anticipated fights of all time.”

National Mirror


Friday, June 14, 2013


Win Window on Nigerian p players abroad


Omonia stay delights Alabi


ormer Flying Eagles’ central defender Rasheed Alabi says he’s happy to extend his contract at the perennial Cypriot champions AC Omonia. The former Gateway hard man penned a fresh two-year contract last week to continue his fine sojourn at the former champions who lost the title to rivals APEOL Nicosia this past term. Alabi’s initial contract expired at the close of last season. He had been in the negotiation table for a fresh table which continued after he left for a holiday in Nigeria soon after the season ended. The Lagos-born star signed the dotted lines while holidaying in Lagos to end speculations about his future after clubs after Cyprus made enquiries about the defence ace who is spending his seventh season in Cyprus. Alabi has since returned to his base after a short holiday with his family in Lagos to join his mates in the pre-season build-up which has already begun. “Several clubs made attempts to sign me but I decided to remain at Omonia and I’m happy to continue

with my career with them,” Alabi told National Mirror. “There were interests from clubs in Cyprus and outside of Cyprus but after consultations with my family, I decided to extend my contract here. “A club in Holland showed interest and made enquiries at my club but they didn’t follow up with genuine interest and cash and so nothing came out of it eventually. “It’s been great since I arrived here from Alki Larnaca some five years ago and winning the league title and the Super Cup title twice has been the highlights of my Omonia career so far.” Alabi is regarded as one of the best and most sought after centre backs in Cyprus and he’s noted for popping up during set pieces to score his fair share of goals. Last season, he netted three goals from 24 appearances, four fewer than his return the season before. His impressive goal return forced Omonia to poach him from modest side Alki Larnaca and his investment turned out to be huge bargain buy for the multiple Cypriot champions.

Junior eyes moves away from India


Sodje thumbs up Eagles, eyes quick return Sodje


ortsmouth centre back Sam Sodje has praised the Super Eagles for their impressive performance in the World Cup qualifiers and tips them to pick the ticket to Brazil 2014 World Cup. Sodje, who has been capped five times for his country, says the team has the character to go all way to the top but maintains the team must continue to play as a unit. “I have no doubt in the abilities of the players in the current team having played with most of them and I must admit they’ve been so good,” Sodje said.



“I’m most impressed with their performances in the last three games and I must say that they will hit the top. “Getting a win and a last draw at away in the last two qualifiers is highly commendable and the team should keep the pace up. “Those results in Nairobi and Windhoek should be put them in the right state of minds to go all out in Brazil for the Confederations Cup. “I think they are good to grab the World Cup ticket. They will top the group and be at the best in the final round to hit Brazil.” Meanwhile, Sodje believes

his performance in the closed season at Pompey will open Eagles’ doors again for him. The former Leeds United ace says unfinished business with the Eagle is still close to his heart and reckons he will explode again when the new season begins. “Coach Keshi will still have a look at me again when the season starts in August and make his decision about me,” he hopes. “I’m still not sure if I will hang on at Pompey because lots of clubs are on my trail now but let’s see what happens when the new season starts.”

ir India FC of India attacking midfielder Junior Elijah Obagbemiro could be heading to Europe as clubs in Sweden are reportedly courting him. Elija revealed that Swedish side Hacken have lined up a 10-day training session with him with a viewing to signing him if he impresses. Top Swedish side AIK Stockholm are also eyeing the young midfielder who netted five goals in the I-League but sank into relegation waters with the club. Junior, who dumped Finland to play in India few years ago, could finally be returning to European football if all goes well in the trials which will commence in the coming weeks. Junior says he’s got an option of remaining in India should he fail to land a deal in Sweden as newly-prmoted side Mumbai Tigers are ready to break the bank for the former Sporting Goa ace. “I’m yet to sign for the newlypromoted side because of the Swedish opening,” he revealed. “In fact, I’m still with the contract papers here in Abuja where I’m holidaying. I will have no choice than to sign the contract and head back to India should I fail to land a contract in Sweden.” Junior, twice won the Best Midfielder Award in India, blamed playing with average players for their woes last season but admitted he had a great season. “It was hard to get the best results with a club like Air India because the team was poor,” he explained.

Ogu okays Eagles’ performance

uper Eagles’ newest star John Ugochukwu Ogu has told National Mirror he’s happy with his performance for his country. The Portugal-based tar debutted for Super Eagles in the World Cup qualifiers against Kenya in Calabar in March and went on to make further two appearances. The former Flying Sport Academy ace rode on the back of impressive performance in the international friendly against Mexico, where he scored a goal in the 2-2 draw in Houston, earn a place in coach Stephen Keshi’s 23-man squad to the Confederations Cup. “I can’t stop to appreciate God for

getting me this far and I must also not fail to thank my academy boss Marshall Mbre for giving me the biggest break in my career,” Ogu beamed. “It was like a dream for me when I was not considered for a place in the national team but here I am today living the dream. “I have also ridden on the good tidings from the coaching crew, my colleagues and the management to come this far. “I can only continue to do well and do my best to take my country to the height they belong to. I got a huge task on my task to let my game speak for me in Brazil in the Confederations Cup and I know God will see me

through.” Mbre, his academy boss some years ago, is not surprised at the progress of his ward and the former Italy-based player says his best if yet to come. “I have no doubt in my ability of my boy, he’s got everything a midfielder is supposed to possess and so, it’s just a matter of time before he hits the top,” he praises. “I have been working with John for a long time and I know his qualities. I’m happy with his performance with the Super Eagles. “He will surely continue to impress with every game. I see him playing big time football in near future.”


Strongest force

Vol. 03 No. 643

Friday, June 14, 2013


There are four fundamental forces in the universe which account for all interactions between matter and energy. They are the strong nuclear, the weak nuclear, electromagnetic, and gravitational forces. The strongest of these is the strong nuclear force, which is 100 times stronger than the electromagnetic force - the next strongest of the four forces.

Police Service Commission and known challenges F ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo, while featuring on his then monthly Presidential Media Chat anchored by the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) about the first quarter of 2004 (as the man in charge), vehemently condemned the process of recruitment into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). He had lamented that even armed robbers were being recruited legitimately into the Nigeria Police. Shortly after, at a security summit held in Abuja on August 10, 2004, reports again said the former president asked the rhetorical question: “What do we do with law enforcement agents where a policeman will hire out his gun to armed robbers?” Indeed, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Sunday Ehindero, was once quoted as saying that “most of the persons recruited into the Nigeria Police between 2000 and 2004 were criminals”, a statement that tallies with Obasanjo’s assessment of the predicament. Alhaji Ibrahim Commassie, too, one time

FRIDAY WITH Dozie Okebalama 08164966858 (SMS only) IGP under the military era, was likewise credited as saying two years ago that “recruitment and training (in the Nigeria Police) have been compromised as a result of conditions of service which do not attract the right material as those with the right qualifications do not apply to join the force”. And in October last year, the commandant of the Police College Kaduna, Alhaji Sanusi Rufai, told newsmen in Kaduna that a robbery suspect was among recruits undergoing training at the institution. He said the suspect was named by members of his gang after they were arrested by the police in Abuja. Reports credited to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quoted Rufai as saying that the suspect was among 25 recruits the college disqualified for various inadequacies - health grounds, sight or hearing impairments, forged certificates, etc. Now, The Police Service Commission (PSC), one of the agencies inherited from the colonial era, but abused and sometimes even proscribed by past military juntas, was again established as an executive body under Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001. Part II (6) (1) of the Act says the Commission shall - (a) be responsible for the appointment and promotion of persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force; (b) dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons...; (c) formulate polices and guidelines for the appointment, promotion, discipline and dismissal of officers of the Nigeria Police Force; (d) identify factors inhibiting or undermining discipline in


CONFUSION CREATED BY UNFAIR PROMOTIONS OF THE PAST ARE YET UNRESOLVED the Nigeria Police Force; (e) formulate and implement policies aimed at the efficiency and discipline to the Nigeria Police Force; (f) perform such other functions which, in the opinion of the Commission, are required to ensure the optimal efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force ; and (g) carry out such other functions as the President may, from time to time, direct. As can be gleaned from the foregoing, none of the responsibilities of the PSC is less daunting in relation to others. But it is equally obvious that as Sir Mike Okiro is stepping in any moment from now as a replacement for Mr. Parry Osyande, the man who held court as PSC Chairman until Okiro’s recent appointment, the new PSC helmsman is also inheriting from Osayande a commission fraught with pathological recruitment problems, if the remarks by the aforementioned leaders are anything to go by. The recommendation is not being made here that Okiro should overlook other equally important aspects of the commission’s functions. At the 7th Policing Executive Forum held in Abuja on April 30 this year, which had as its theme:

Sport Extra

w ormer Ghana Football Association (NFA) Chairman, Dr. Nyaho Tamakloe, has said that the commitment of Black Stars midfielder Michael Essien to the national team is questionable. Essien, who enjoyed a successful season-long loan deal at Real Madrid, has been diplomatic about when he will rejoin his international team-


“External Accountability and the Police Service Commission”, for instance, stakeholders and police reform advocates pinpointed conflicts between the PSC and the police high command headed by the IGP in the management of recruitment and discipline matters. Highlighted as well were PSC’s poor records keeping and inefficient data infrastructure, inadequate political backing – funding and operational independence from the Presidency to firm up the commission’s authority and efficiency, limited ability to handle some cases occasioned by scant technical capacity to carry out independent investigations, serious difficulties in dealing with public complaints against the police, as well as unimpressive public awareness about its functions, among others. These on their own are critical challenges awaiting the prioritised attention of the new PSC leadership. The point being stressed, however, is that if the PSC under Okiro can get police recruitment process alone right, half of the discipline and control problems of the Nigeria Police in the no distant future would have been sufficiently addressed. Pressures by ‘ogas’ from above, who often pass lists of their candidates (whether qualified or not) to the PSC for recruitment, are sure and should be expected. Likewise dubious solicitations for non-merited promotions, even when problems and confusion created by unfair promotions of the past are yet unresolved. Consequently, public expectation is that Okiro will demonstrate class in his headship of the PSC against all odds, including political pressures and the contrary expectations of critics. Unambiguous requirements, like age-limit and verifiable requisite qualification, knowledge of candidates’ background, etc., must no longer be compromised in the police recruitment process. The same goes for the relevant tests – written, verbal and psychological. Not a few Nigerians will be disappointed, indeed devastated if, while in office or shortly after leaving office, the story remains that notorious armed robbers and crooks with forged certificates are among those recruited by the police to protect life and property; and maintain law and order in the country. May the police shine and smile with Okiro in the PSC.

Essien not committed to Ghana –Administrator mates, although the hard working player expressed the desire to end his Ghana retirement. The Chelsea star last played for his country back to 2011 when he played in a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against

Congo in Kumasi. “There are players who are not committed to the national team and Essien is one classic example of such players,” Tamakloe told local media in Ghana yesterday. “Michael tends to perform very

well in Europe than in Africa,” the former Ghana football chief averred. Authorities and fans in Ghana, however, believe that Essien’s experience could boost the country’s chances at landing a Brazil 2014 World Cup ticket.


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