Interconnect: N20bn debt threatens telecoms sector EU nations, Nigeria strengthen trade ties
he volume of indebtedness among telecoms operators for unpaid interconnect charges has assumed a
KUNLE AZEEZ Johnson
Vol. 2 N0. 513
Health workers protest, want minister sacked CBN, highest revenue-generating agency –AG
dramatic dimension with the debt hitting over N20bn at the last estimate, constituting a threat to healthy CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Friday, December 14, 2012
Senate approves N162bn for fuel subsidy GEORGE OJI, TORDUE SALEM AND EMMANUEL ONANI
...as Mark advocates total removal Reps accuses Presidency of blackmail
he Senate yesterday passed the 2012 supplementary appropriation bill of N161.7bn for fuel subsidy payment. The House of Represen-
tatives, however, accused the Presidency of blackmail in handling the budget even as the bill passed the second reading at the lower chamber. With the passage, the Federal Government is spending N1.049trn on fuel subsidy in 2012. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Lagos Traffic law:
Court dismisses Okada riders’ suit P.4
L-R: Group Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; Chairman, UBA Plc, Chief Israel Ogbue and Group Company Secretary, Mr. Bili Odum, during the bank’s extraordinary general meeting, where the shareholders authorised new commercial banking structure for the bank in Lagos, yesterday.
Copyright war: COSON defies court to share royalties
16 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZ TO START YOUR WEEKEND, BEGIN ON PAGE 19
EFCC releases Gov Lamido’s son on bail
Army arrests 63 suspects over Okonjo’s abduction Jonathan gives IG 48hrs ultimatum
Dana Air: Payment of $70, 000 compensation commences
Friday, December 14, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Army arrests 63 suspects over Okonjo’s abduction SOLA ADEBAYO AND AMOUR UDEMUDE
he Nigerian Army yesterday said it had arrested 63 people in raids as they searched for Prof. Keneme Okonjo, the mother of the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, kidnapped from her home on
Sunday. “Yesterday the Four Brigade raided OgwashiUkwu in search of Mama,” army spokeswoman Roseline Managbe told Reuters. “Those arrested are being questioned,” she added. National Mirror had exclusively reported on Thursday that several
relations of the Okonjos and palace staff had been quizzed by the police. Meanwhile, strong indications emerged yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to rescue Okonjo on or before Saturday. The victim is the wife of the paramount ruler of Og-
Choristers at the Christmas Carol Service held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday.
washi-Uku Kingdom, headquarters of Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State. National Mirror learnt that President Jonathan conveyed the order to the IGP through the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd.). Consequently, reliable sources at the headquar-
PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
ters of Delta State Police Command in Asaba, the state capital, told National Mirror yesterday that the IGP had in turn passed the order to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba. The 82-year old ex-university teacher was abducted by 10 gunmen from her Ogwashi-Uku home on Sunday. Findings by National Mirror revealed that Jonathan acted in response to pressure from the minister who is distraught over the safety of her mother. The whereabouts of the octogenarian was yet to be ascertained by the security agencies, four days after she was whisked to an unknown location. Beside the minister’s apprehensions, National Mirror gathered that Jonathan was bothered by the negative attention the fate of the octogenarian had attracted to the country. Further enquiries showed that Wednesday’s deployment of special crack detectives to compliment the rescue efforts of
the state’s police command by the IGP was in compliance with the presidential order. One of our sources said: “The IGP deployed some detectives to assist us (Delta State Command) in the rescue of Prof. Okonjo in obedience to the order of President Jonathan that the woman be freed on or before Saturday (tomorrow). “The IGP said from the tone of the message from the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd.), it is apparent that Mr. President is not happy that the police had failed to rescue her, since Sunday, five days after. To this end, the IGP has directed our CP that the command must act within 48 hours to free the professor in line with the directive of Mr. President.” “The police are desperate to meet the deadline and that is why we are combing the nooks and crannies of the state,” added a top police officer, who craved anonymity. The police appeared CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Senate approves N162bn for fuel subsidy CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
A provision of N888.1bn was initially made for payment of fuel subsidy. The Senate said it went out of its way to pass the bill in order to insulate Nigerians from the negative impact that shortage of fuel may have of businesses and living conditions especially during this Yuletide season. In order to pass the bill yesterday, the Senate had to suspend Section 79 of its standing rules to enable the lawmakers take the second and third readings of the bill on the same day. Speaking before the final passage of the supplementary budget, Mark advocated the total removal of fuel subsidy citing corrupt practices in its administration. According to the Senate President, “It is either we retain the subsidy regime with its attendant corrupt practices or put a final stop to it by deregulating the sector fully and then say bye bye to the sharp and corrupt practices associated with the exercise over the years.” Continuing, he added, “It is no gainsaying and it is no
longer a secret to say that there is so much corruption in the fuel subsidy industry or whatever system they are adopting. I think the nation must take a decision now whether to continue this or to stop it. “If they can’t eliminate and stop the corruption in the industry, then the other alternative will be to stop the exercise of fuel subsidy and we must take the one that is easier and less painful to Nigerians. “The nation, in my candid opinion, must make that decision sooner than later because we cannot continue to carry on this way.” While commending his colleagues for promptly passing the bill, the Senate President said if the bill was not approved, it is the Nigerian people that would suffer. Senator Ahmed Lawal said: “This is an obvious, twisted case of blackmail. The Executive is forcing us to pass this bill just because we have no choice but to do so. This so-called shortfall has not come from any systematic analysis. Has
anybody submitted the report to the Auditor-General? Nobody has convinced us that what we require is N161. 617,364,911. The economic team is incompetent. I’m saying this because we should not be made to suffer the inadequacies and incompetence of the economic team. I hope we are not creating another cabal.” The request for the supplementary bill was forwarded to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday. According to the President’s letter, which was addressed to the President of the Senate, David Mark and read during the plenary session, the request for the additional funds was to cover subsidy payment for the remaining part of this year. The President noted that following the forensic audit carried out, it was discovered that the N888.1bn provision for fuel subsidy in the 2012 budget was underestimated. He revealed that as at now the sum of N880,264,243,683:61bn has been paid out, leaving a
balance of N7,735, 756, 316: 39bn. Jonathan, in his letter had also said the extra fund was needed to settle accumulated fuel subsidy arrears owed oil marketers and will assist to “maintain a steady flow of petroleum products, especially to the run-up to the festive season.” The President’s request, which came in form of a bill, passed second reading in the House of Representatives and subsequently referred to joint committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream); Finance and Appropriation for further legislative inputs. Before the budget was approved for referral, the legislators had accused President Jonathan of attempting to blackmail them in assenting the proposed supplementary budget, 18 days to the end of the 2012 fiscal year. Deliberating on Jonathan’s request at Thursday’s plenary, the Chairmen of House Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Dakuku Pe-
terside (River/PDP); Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Ajibola Muraina (Oyo/PDP) and Appropriation, John Enoh (Cross River/PDP) agreed that an attempt to reach a decision at yesterday’s plenary will be rushed as the matter would be better handled at committee level. Peterside and the House Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila insisted that forensic audit must be presented before the House for scrutiny. Gbajabiamila said the underestimation of the 2012 fuel subsidy budget was an indictment on the Budget Office. The duo demanded from the Federal Government actual consumption figures of subsidised petroleum products. “The government needs to block leakages in the system (subsidy fraud). We agree that subsidy is not in our best interest but in the interim, we have to live with it and make it work,” Peterside said. The Speaker of the House, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in an address at plenary session called for
better budget tracking by the House’s Standing Committees. Tambuwal’s said: “Throughout this debate, issues around forensic report, actual subsidy figure, actual requirements have been raised, we can only know this if we allow this Bill to get to the committee for them to work on it and come back with all these details that we require either for us to pass it or to justify why their request should not be passed.” Meanwhile, the House yesterday threatened the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Verification and Reconciliation of Subsidy Payments, Aigboje Aig-Imokhuede with arrest for “refusing” to appear before the House Committee on Public Petitions. The Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Uzo Azubuike issued the threat at a continuation of a hearing of a petition sent to it by the Managing Director of Capital Oil and CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friay, December 14, 2012
Friday December 14, 2012
L-R: Member, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), National Stakeholders’ Working Group, Mrs. Abiola Ige; Executive Secretary, NEITI, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and Chairman, Mr. Ledum Mitee, during a press briefing on Presentation of Core NEITI Audit Report on Solid Minerals Sector in Abuja, PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA yesterday.
L-R: General Manager of Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation, Ms. Mediline Tador; Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria, Dame Oluremi Oyo; Resident Information Officer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Florence Mohammed and Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, at the PHOTO: NAN 43rd National Council on Information meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Chief Executive Officer of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Mr. Christopher Penninck (left) receiving the Most Efficient Airport Terminal Award for MMA2 from the Chairman, Planning Committee of the 2012 Transport Stakeholders’ Excellence Award, Mr. Gabriel Ezeani, during the award ceremony in Lagos, recently.
L-R: Representative of the Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Commodore Iliayaku Bako; Managing Director, Dangote Port Operations, Capt. Joshua Oyewunmi; Managing Director, Communication Company, Mr. Bolaji Akinola; representative of the Flag Officer Command,Western Naval Command Lagos, Commodore Usman Mainasara and Head, Corporate Communication, Sifax Group, Mr. Oliver Omojuwa, at the 6th Annual National Ships and Ports Essay Competition Prize Presentation in Lagos, yesterday.
Lagos Traffic Law: Court dismisses Okada riders’ suit MURITALA AYINLA
n Ikeja High Court of Lagos State yesterday dismissed the suit filed by commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada riders in which they challenged the enforcement of the new Traffic Law. Justice Aishat Opesanwo , who ruled on the matter, declared that the Lagos Traffic Law 2012 did not violate the rights of the commercial motorcyclists. The Okada riders, under the aegis of All Nigerian Autobike Commercial Owners and Workers Association (ANACOWA), had sued the state government and the House of Assembly over the provisions of the law which restricted their operations in 475 roads and bridges. Justice Opesanwo held that contrary to the claim of abuse of freedom of movement made by the Okada riders, the law did not violate the claimants’ rights. The court, however, re-
jected the submissions of the counsel to the motorcyclists, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, who argued that the law was discriminatory against the motorcyclists. The judge said: “The Road Traffic Law regulates other forms of vehicles and as such, the right of the claimants to their constitutional right to freedom from discrimination has not been violated.” Referring to the decision in Director, SSS v. Agbakoba, the court held that the right of the claimants to move freely across the state has not been violated, adding that only commercial motorcycles were restricted to certain areas on the highways. Reacting to the judgement, the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said that the decision was for the collective good of all. Ipaye said: “If there is any winner at all, it is the good people of Lagos State who desire to commute in a safe, secure and conducive environment. It is also a relief to have legal confir-
mation of the sensible fact that a State House of Assembly has powers to make laws regulating conduct on every road within the State territory.” Governor Babatunde Fashola described the suit of the motorcyclist as frivolous, saying the action
was ill-conceived. The governor, who said he was not elected to be popular but to serve the people, reiterated that the law was to check needless deaths arising from avoidable accidents and crimes. Fashola said it was wrong for people to violate
the law democratically made by the state lawmakers in the name of fighting for freedom. According to him, “the action is extremely frivolous and ill-conceived in the first place. I think when laws are in place people must understand.
I understand that people are yet to come to terms that democratic process works. The law was not cast in the stone. “The same members of parliament reserve the right to amend and to modify and this must be the democratic spirit.”
Okotie faults INEC’s justification for deregistration of parties OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
he national chairman and presidential candidate of the Fresh Democratic Party, FDP, Rev. Chris Okotie, has refuted claims by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that the composition of FDP’s National Executive Council (NEC) fails to meet the requirement of section 223(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria. In a widely published advertisement in some national dailies yesterday, the INEC advanced reasons for the deregistration of the 28 political parties it recently wielded the big
axe against. In the case of FDP, the electoral body said the party ran foul of section 223 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution and that it failed to win a seat in either the state or National Assembly. But FDP lawyer, Fred Agbaje, and the party’s legal adviser, Kola Dopamu rejected INEC’s claims, saying they were not tenable. Dopamu listed the party’s NEC members as follows: Rev. Okotie, Chairman (South-South); Makanju Akintayo; -National Vice Chairman (South–West); Gyang Pam, National Vice Chairman (North Central); Patrick Doyle, National Vice Chairman (South-South); Ms Chizoba Ebele-Onu, National Vice
Chairman (South East); Dopamu, National Legal Adviser; Ladi Ayodeji, National Director, Media and Publicity; Ngozika Kelvin, National Welfare Officer; Mrs Ifeyinwa B. Olisah, National Treasurer; Mrs. Jibe Ologeh, National Financial Secretary and Fela Binutu, National Secretary. Dopamu said that his party submitted this list to INEC some time ago and it was approved. Also, Okotie, who had told journalists at a press conference last week that it was too early for INEC to delist his party because it didn’t win any seat in either assembly, said FDP is just six years old and has participated in only two elections after it was regis-
tered. He added: “The democratic experiment of Nigeria is 13 years old. How can you judge the trajectory of a political party? Our party was registered in 2006. We’ve only had six years. You cannot compare us to the behemoth Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that has political veterans and all kinds of people. “If truly we are talking about democracy, then time must be given for this party to metamorphose into the kind of political party that INEC is talking about.” Meanwhile, the party is heading back to court on Monday in Abuja to file additional objections following INEC’s latest publication.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, December 14, 2012
N20bn interconnect debt threatens telecoms sector CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
competition in the nation’s bourgeoning telecoms sector. This was disclosed by industry stakeholders in Lagos yesterday at the “Regulatory Forum on the High Incidence of Interconnection Indebtedness in the Nigerian Telecommunications Industry,” organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, the industry regulator. It was learnt that many of the smaller operators in Nigeria, mostly in the Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, segment of the nation’s telecoms sector were indebted to operators of Global System for Mobile communication. Aside the CDMA operators, the fixed line networks also owe much of the debt, which experts said has been affecting the growth of the telecoms industry. Though it was learnt that some creditor operators may have decided to disconnect their debtor counterparts on the account of huge indebtedness being owed them, legal experts at the forum agreed that mediation and arbitration should be explored before a network is disconnected as well as migration of traffic and debt settlement through an interconnect clearing exchange. Speaking at the forum, Partner, Banwo & Ighodalo, Mrs. Abimbola Akeredolu, who spoke on the solution to interconnection indebtedness in Nigeria, said “in-
terconnect indebtedness in the Nigerian telecommunications sector is currently put at about N20bn.” She noted that about 60 per cent of the debt was disputed as many operators alleged that the figures were inflated while they ascribed to their competitors’ faulty billing systems. Akeredolu said the large volume of the interconnect debt in the Nigerian telecommunications sector was often linked to sharp differences in revenue sharing ratios between mobile operators and other operators such as landline network owners and fixed wireless operators. “The feeling in the industry is that if the situation persists whereby GSM companies are better favoured than the fixed and wireless operators, such a situation will continue to lead to interconnectivity debt, or breakage. “In practice, the revenue sharing ratio between mobile and fixed network is 14/6 and 12/8 depending on which network is termination or originating the call. Fixed and landline operators are asking that parity be introduced with growing argument that all network face equal challenges,” she stated. Globacom’s Regulatory Affairs Manager, Mr. Tunde Aremu, who also corroborated the N20bn debt figure, said operators owed each other huge sums of interconnect debt, stressing that the issue of interconnection requires urgent inter-
Senate approves N162bn for fuel subsidy CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
Gas Ltd. Mr. Ifeanyi Ubah. Azubuike had said the two personalities had shunned the invitations of the committee twice and their absence was frustrating the investigation of the committee. In spite of the absence of the two personalities the public hearing went on yesterday with the appearance of the Chairman of Coscharis Group, Mr. Cosmas Maduka and Uba who are locked in a dispute over a fuel importation deal gone sour. In response to the excuse that Okonjo-Iweala was absent because of the kidnap of her mother, Azubuike said the invitation was not for the minister as a person but for the Federal
Ministry of Finance to put up an appearance and supply the information requested by the committee. He warned that if the ministry was not represented at the next sitting of the panel, the committee would be left with no other option but to issue a warrant of arrest on the head of the ministry. Aig-Imokhuede, had through his lawyers informed the committee of his absence on legal grounds. In the letter, he pleaded that whereas the committee invited him as Chairman, Presidential Committee on Verification of Subsidy Payments, he had since discharged his role in that committee and submitted a report to the government.
vention from the NCC. In the same vein, General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Ms. Oyeronke Oyetunde, added that the huge interconnect debts running into billions of naira was currently plaguing the sector, calling on the regulator to intervene before the issue gets out of hand. They agreed that NCC has a major role to play in ensuring the stability of the industry. Earlier, the Executive
Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said operators had taken advantage of the provisions of the guidelines on procedure for granting of approval to disconnect telecommunications operators by deliberately refusing to promptly discharge their financial obligations towards their interconnect partners. According to him, the issue of interconnection indebtedness has become a major source of conflict and challenge, which he noted,
has the potential of destabilising the success recorded in the industry. “The issue of interconnection indebtedness is peculiar to Nigeria as it has been observed that this problem does not exist in other jurisdictions.” In his paper titled “The Impact of Interconnection Indebtedness on the Telecommunications Industry in Nigeria,” the former Executive Commissioner, NCC and Principal Partner, Kayafas Konsult, Mr. Stephen Bello, said interconnect indebted-
ness in general has the effect of introducing inefficiency into the telecom industry and the entire national economy. He said that it could also result in unfair treatment of interconnecting partners, prevent subscribers from having full value for their money. He, however, insisted that the way out was to introduce pre-paid billing for interconnection or a clearing house for the telecom industry similar to the banking industry’s clearing house among other measures.
L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President David Mark; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Deputy Speaker, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, during the President’s meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja, on Wednesday. PHOTO: NAN
Army arrests 63 suspects over Okonjo’s abduction CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
overwhelmed yesterday as the abduction of the octogenarian entered the fourth day yesterday. It was gathered that the woes of the police was compounded that all the clues did not provide clear lead into the whereabouts and rescue of the octogenarian. Investigations showed that efforts by the police to ensure early freedom for the retired university don have been futile. When contacted yesterday, the CP said they were committed to the release of the octogenarian unhurt. Aduba, who declined to comment on the presidential order, said the IGP merely deployed a special team to compliment the command in the rescue efforts. He said that he was not aware of the ultimatum by the President. The CP, in a telephone chat with National Mirror yesterday blamed the failure of the police majorly on lack of credible information from the public, adding that “when there is no
free flow of information, meaningful breakthrough is not easy to come by.” Aduba, however insisted that “the force will not be party to the negotiation for payment of ransom to free the victim.” “The kidnappers will never discuss with us because we have nothing to do with them. Their calls are not important to me. They cannot talk to the police because we have our own strategy. “We are working. I have not been sleeping for instance since Sunday. However, I am sure that with the efforts we are putting into the assignment and with the help we are getting from Abuja, we are going to achieve results soonest. But I must add that it is not mechanical and one has to be very careful,” the CP said. Meanwhile, the police have arrested at least 25 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers in the state. The police also recovered vehicles and other items such as mobile tele-
phones, cash, laptops, ammunition and guns from the suspects. Addressing journalists yesterday in his office before the suspects were paraded, Aduba sounded the alarm over an amrs build-up in the state, adding that the suspects were arrested barely four days before the minister’s mother was kidnapped. Warning kidnappers and armed robbers to relocate from the state or shun their criminal activities, the police boss promised to ensure that the forthcoming Christmas and New Year are celebrated violence-free. He, however, gave the names of the arrested suspects as Godwin Ndubuisi, Jose Raphael, Efe Birhirag, Solomon Onovughakpori, Chinedu Kkombe, Vincent Akpokona, Kingsley Itah, Tunika Mordi, Raphael Igwenatu (native doctor), Anakwe Nzogwe, John Obode, Agofure Aduboh and Emmanuel Nwachukwu, among others. Aduba commended members of the public for assisting the police with
useful information to tackle crimes in the state. He said security agents are still combing the nooks and crannies of the state to rescue the minister’s mother unhurt. Aduba said that the accusation by the Okonjo’s family of lapses by the police as regards security in the palace would not assist in the present circumstance and appealed to traditional rulers to fortify their palaces. The police boss said: “There is no mandate that I should guard all the palaces in the state. There is no question of trading blame because it will not help us. “I don’t want to join issues with the family. Palaces should try as much as possible to, on their own, beef up internal security around them to complement the police effort.” In another development, a popular Warri-based legal practitioner, Mr. Kingsley Omon-Irabor, was last night arrested by the police for allegedly facilitating the release of a kidnap suspect in custody.
Friday, December 14, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
CBN, highest revenue-generating agency –Accountant-General TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he AccountantGeneral of the Federation, AGF, Mr. Jonah Otunla, yesterday disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, accounted for 75 per cent of the revenue generated by Federal Government agencies. He said the CBN was the highest for the year 2012,
with N114,237,257,078.60 representing about 75 per cent of total revenue made from government agencies paid as operating surplus into the Consolidated Account as at November. The summary of the operating surplus, as presented to the House Committee on Finance, showed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Nigerian LNG Limited, Federal Radio Corpo-
ration of Nigeria, FRCN, National Film and Censors Board, NFCB, National Examination Council, NECO, Federal Housing Authority, FHA, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, and National Hospital had not remitted a kobo to the Federation Account since 2009. He said: “When we were pressed to get money in the third quarter to source
money for the fourth quarter, from about N145 billion operating surplus we got, CBN paid N114 billion as operating surplus for 2011 representing about 70 per cent. Otunla added that the apex bank and Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, had complied in the payment of operating surplus into the Consolidated Account as at when due. The Accountant Gen-
eral said non-remitting agencies were “engaging in financial rascality.” The documents showed that the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, paid N15 billion in 2012, Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, (N6.802 billion), Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, (N5.031 billion) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, (N185
million). Summary of the spectrum fees paid by NCC for the period of January to October 2012 worth N26,852,469,732.31; the Bureau for Public Enterprises, BPE, generated N20,110,764,577.48 from privatisation proceeds and additional sum of N21,741,500 from rent on No 15 Ijora Cause Way property within the period under review.
Workers’ protest, demand Health Minister’s sack MARCUS FATUNMOLE ABUJA
L-R: Member, FCT Ministerial Committee on Apo Resettlement Scheme, Chief Stephen Awoniyi; Minister of State for FCT, Chief Olajumoke Akinjide and Committee Vice-Chairman, Mr. Joshua Kaura, during the submission of the committee’s report in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Stop maltreating Bakassi indigenes, FG warns Cameroun EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
he Federal Government has expressed concern over reported cases of maltreatment of the displaced indigenes of Bakassi Peninsula. It warned that such tendency had the capacity of truncating the peace that the Cameroun/Nigeria Mixed Commission, CNMC, had been able to achieve since the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroun. The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), made the observation yesterday at the opening ceremony of the 30th Session of CNMC held at the Congress Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. Adoke, who is the leader of the Nigerian delegation, stressed the need for both countries to do all within their powers to ensure the sustainability of peace on the troubled peninsula. He pointed out that the tension which the reported
maltreatment of displaced Nigerians could generate as well as the attendant “political pressure” could never be over-emphasised. The AGF, however, commended President Goodluck Jonathan and his Camerounian counterpart, Mr. Paul Biya, for the unflinching support the CNMC had enjoyed so far. He said: “Mr. Chairman, let me reiterate my earlier representation to the 20th Meeting of the Follow-Up
Committee that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is concerned about reported cases of maltreatment of its citizens in the Bakassi Peninsula. “As I reiterated on that occasion, while Nigeria would continue to honour its international obligations, the government is concerned about this situation and its possible effect on the work of the CNMC. “The effect of these allegations and the political
pressure they engender cannot be overemphasised as they impact profoundly on the level of public confidence between the government and its citizens. “We therefore, call on the Camerounian authorities in the spirit of Article 4 of the Green Tree Agreement, and other International Human Rights Instruments to which our two countries are signatories, to urgently investigate and take measures to address these concerns.
Tax on call duty allowance is inhuman –NMA
he Chairman of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association NMA, Dr. Francis Faduyile, has described the tax deduction on doctors’ call duty allowance as “inhuman.” Faduyile spoke with journalists yesterday on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting, AGM, and Scientific Conference of the Association of Resident Doctors, ARD, National Orthopaedic Hospital, Igbobi branch,
in Lagos. He said: “We are not happy that the call duty allowance and other allowances, including hazard and teaching, we actually work for, are being taxed. “We cannot accept that the management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, will decide unilaterally to be deducting the call duty allowances that are in arrears.” Faduyile said that call duty was a period that doctors actually performed
their duties when every other person was not on duty. The chairman said that a doctor on call duty was entitled to 40 units call payment, adding that most doctors performed up to 60 or 70 unit calls. He said: “A unit call is a period of eight hours. As it is, doctors are not fully paid for all the call duty periods they have done. “And now when government is enacting laws, it has come out to say that it wants to tax the call duty.
ealth workers, under the aegis of Joint Health Sector’s Union, JOHESU, yesterday demanded the immediate sack of Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, for “causing havoc in the health sector,” and for “inciting different groups in the sector against one another”. The workers made the demand during a sevenhour protest in Abuja. JOHESU comprises Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN; National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM; University Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Allied Institutions, UTHRIAI; National Union of Pharmacists, Medicine Technologists and Professionals Allied to Medicine, NUPMTPA; and NonAcademic Staff Union of
Educational and Associate Institutions, NASU. The protest followed a series of crises that have rocked the sector in recent times. The Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria President, Dr. Godswill Okara, accused the minister of refusing stakeholders’ contribution to National Health Bill, which incidentally passed through Second Reading at the Senate on Wednesday. He said: “We feel very dissatisfied with the way the minister of health is handling issues in the health sector. “We all called for a stakeholders’ meeting to be convened so that all shades of opinions and views would be addressed and accommodated in the National Health Bill. The Ministry of Health refused to facilitate that stakeholders’ meeting. They returned the bill as it was.
Drama as Senate committee shuns Maina GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI
here was a mild drama yesterday at the new Senate hearing room 231, venue of the resumed public hearing on the pension administration and management by the joint committees on Establishment and Public Service, States and Local Governments. The committee had on Wednesday said it issued a warrant to the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to arrest the Chairman of the Pension Task Force Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, to bring him to the venue of the public hearing.
It, however, turned out that the said warrant did not leave the precincts of the National Assembly. So, as at 11am when the committee said it would reconvene sitting yesterday, Maina was nowhere to be found. For three hours, the other invitees were all seated at the venue, yet, no member of the committee or Maina showed up. Suddenly at exactly 2pm, the committee Chairman, Senator Aloysius Etok, and his co-chair, Senator Kabir Gaya, walked in. As Etok was announcing another round of adjournment, Maina briskly walked into the hall.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, December 14, 2012
EFCC has no power to prosecute me –Babalakin •He is joking, says Commission KAYODE KETEFE
severe and protracted legal battle ensued yesterday before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos between the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Ltd; Mr. Bolanle Olawale Babalakin and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It was during the hearing of the application for prohibition and certiorari brought by Babalakin to stop EFCC from prosecuting him for alleged money laundering before an Ikeja High Court. It will be recalled that the anti-graft agency had filed a 27-count charge against Babalakin before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of Ikeja High Court which essen-
tially comprised alleged offences of money laundering. Babalakin, who could not attend his scheduled arraignment at the last adjourned date on account of his hospitalisation at LUTH, then rushed to the Federal High Court Lagos with an application for leave to file a motion for an order of certiorari and prohibition against the EFCC, which the court granted.
It was this application that came up for hearing yesterday before Justice Mohammed Idris, of the Federal High Court. In his submission, Babalakin’s lawyer, Mr. Wale Akoni (SAN), urged the court to grant an order of prohibition against the EFCC on the grounds that the commission has no power to prefer a charge against his client in Lagos State. Akoni further argued that the EFCC could not charge
Babalakin with a federal offence in Lagos state on the grounds that only AttorneyGeneral of the Federation and Minister of Justice has the exclusive prerogative to do so. Akoni therefore described the charge against his client as an irregularity. He consequently urged the court to grant the sought order of prohibition by restraining the respondents from continuing with the criminal arraignment of
Subsidy fraud: Oil marketers seek more time to discuss with EFCC KENNY ODUNUKAN
L-R: Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Akiolu I, Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Dr. Oluranti Adebule; Managing Director, Planet Projects Limited, Mr. Biodun Otunola and Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Dr. Dayo Mobereola, at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of infrastructure for the Lagos Island Municipal Transport Service in Lagos, yesterday.
FEMI OYEWESO ABEEOKUTA
ravellers along the ever-busy AbeokutaLagos Expressway yesterday went through hell as angry residents of Itori and its suburb barricaded the expressway in protest against the death of eight secondary school children who were killed by an articulated truck on Wednesday. The protesters, who were mostly students, aggrieved youths, market women and residents of the community, cordoned off the expressway, setting disused tyres, logs of wood as well as other
Itori school tragedy: Commuters stranded as protesters barricade highway objects on fire and thereby preventing commuters for close to six hours from proceeding on their journey. The anger of the people of Itori in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State over the death of their children compelled the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) Zone 2, Mamman Tsafe, in company of the Commissioner of Police (CP) in the state, Ikhemefuna Okoye, to relocate to the area in order to prevent the
situation from getting out of hand. It will be recalled that eight secondary schools students of Itori Comprehensive High School were crushed while two others were injured when a granite-laden truck with registration number LAGOS XZ 628 AKD, fell on them. During yesterday’s protest, the people of the area who chanted war slogans alleged that the number of casualties in the accident
had risen to about 20. Their anger and protest which led to barricading of the expressway was also premised on the allegation that the ill-fated truck was towed away overnight by unknown people suspected to be agents of the state government. They defied the threats of gun-wielding riot policemen and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to continue with their protest yesterday.
Dana Air: Payment of $70, 000 compensation commences OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he management of Dana Air yesterday said that it has commenced the payment of $70, 000 final compensation to the families of its ill-fated plane crash of June 3, 2012 at the Iju-Ishaha area of Lagos. The Head, Corporate Communications of the airline, Mr. Tony Usidamen,
told our correspondents that the airline commenced the payment after the confirmation of letter of administration submitted by the five families of the bereaved by its foreign insurance company, Llpyds of London. It will be recalled that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had last week reissued another Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to Dana Air to recommence flight operations, but
with a proviso that it should commence the payment of the remaining $70, 000 before it commences operation. With the commencement of this final payment, the airline can now commence operation any moment from now. Usidamen told our correspondent that five families had submitted the letter of administration to the airline and that the probate
Babalakin as that would be an infringement of the provisions of the law. In stout opposition, EFCC’s lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), argued that Babalakin is joking as under the provisions of section 318 of the Constitution as amended, a public officer can initiate criminal proceedings against any accused person before a court of law, stressing that a public officer is statutorily defined to include officers of the EFCC.
registry was ready for the victims’ families. He was, however, silent on the number of families that had received the remaining compensation, but said it commenced payment yesterday. Also, he assured that the airline had enough funds on ground to pay the victims’ families and added that as more verification is made after submission, it would continue to pay.
hree oil marketers, Mahmud Tukur, Abdullahi Alao and Alex Ochonogor, yesterday asked an Ikeja High Court for more time to negotiate the fuel subsidy charges preferred against them with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Mahmud is the son of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while his co-defendant, Abdullahi is the son of a prominent Ibadan-based businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez ArikesolaAlao. They were arraigned before Justice Onigbanjo alongside Alex Ochonogor and Eternal Oil and Gas Plc
over an alleged N1.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud. At the resumed hearing yesterday, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), counsel to Tukur, Ochonogor and Eternal Oil told the court that negotiations were still ongoing between both parties. Prof. Taiwo Osipitan (SAN), Alao’s counsel, and the EFCC’s attorney, Mrs. Taiwo Ogunleye, confirmed Oyetibo’s statement. According to Oyetibo; “On the last adjourned date, counsel did take a second look at the matter. We are in that process and are asking for one more opportunity to come to terms. We have not been able to conclude because of certain reasons but if we are given a little time, we will be able to make progress on the matter.”
CJ wants 100 judges for federal high court EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
he Chief Judge (CJ) of the Federal High Court; Justice Ibrahim Ndahi Auta, yesterday made a case for an increase in the number of judges from the current 70 to 100 in 2013. Justice Auta expressed the hope that the National Assembly will accede to such request, whenever it is made, in order to guarantee the speedy dispensation of justice to all manner of people. The CJ said this yesterday on the occasion of the end of the year interactive/ Chief Judge’s annual award of the federal high court, held in Abuja. “The number of judges of the federal high court has increased to 70; we hope that by 2013, the National Assembly will grant federal
high court 100 judges.” Justice Auta, who pledged to provide a more conducive working environment for judges and judiciary staff, to engender optimal performance said the court did not record any case of scandal against its staff throughout the 2012 Legal Year. He, however, charged judiciary workers on the need to continually and continuously imbibe the culture of discipline, hard work and punctuality. This was even as he expressed the hope that complaints often made against court bailiffs and the court’s record section will be a thing of the past. In her remarks, the acting Chief Registrar of the court, Mrs. Rosemary Onome Oghoghorie, said the party was to avail the staff to fraternise with the Chief Judge and the others.
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Osun bond over-subscribed by 100%, says Aregbesola T
Aromolaran kicks against installation of monarch KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO
sun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that his administration has taken the state to an enviable height of financial reckoning, just as he disclosed that the state bond was oversubscribed by 100 percent. The governor, who made this disclosure yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, while speaking at the completion ceremony between the state government and the Joint Issuing Houses for a N30 billion - 14.75 per cent fixed rate development bond (Tranche 1) due in 2019. He described the development as a validation of the level of confidence long-term fund investors placed on the state, adding that the confidence did not just come, but for the prudent management and financial engineering of his administration. The governor added that the Nigerian capital market during the week recorded an unprecedented feat as the N22 billion Osun State offer was over-subscribed by more than 100 per cent. Aregbesola, who said that the transaction was a landmark bond that has recorded a lot of firsts in the country, noted that for the first time,
the state was rated with bond rating of A and A, adding that since the creation of the state in 1991, it had no account but within 24 months of his administration, a standard accounting record was put in place, which Augusto Rating Agency few months ago, rated A. He attributed the success to accountability, transparency and prudent financial system developed by his government, adding that his administration met an insolvent state, which could not even meet its statutory obligations, forcing his
adding that the state’s bond issue also changed completely the face of capital market with over 60 per cent of the subscription cornered by the Pension Fund Administrators. Speaking on behalf of the joint issuing houses, Mr. Taiwo Okeowo, said that it was in recognition of the successes recorded by the Aregbesola’s administration that the offer was over-subscribed by more than 100per cent, adding that the governor was taking the state to an unimaginable height with the bond of development.
L-R: Acting General-Secretary, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Comrade Isaac Aberare; National President, Comrade Igwe Achese; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and Lagos Zonal Chairman, NUPENG, Comrade Tokunbo Korodo, during the presentation of an award to Fashola as the Most Labour-Friendly Governor by the Lagos Zonal Council of NUPENG in Lagos, yesterday.
Ajimobi restates commitment to rescuing Rotimi’s wife
yo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, yesterday restated the commitment of his administration to rescue Mrs. Titilayo Rotimi, the abducted wife of the former Governor of the defunct Western State, General Oluwole Rotimi, who was kidnapped by unknown persons on Monday. The governor said all hands are on deck towards rescuing her without any harm coming to her. He made this known yesterday in a release signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo. Governor Ajimobi expressed sadness that kidnapping for ransom, which hitherto was strange to the crime lexicon of the South-West, was now being brought into it by some undesirable elements, stating that his administration was commit-
government to source for N1bn to meet its obligations. His words: “When we were to begin this, it was as if we were going on an impossible journey. And this is for a good reason; we met an insolvent state, a state that must pay more than N1billion to meet its statutory obligations.” Also, the state Commissioner for Finance, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, said the N22 billion bonds also received 78 entries, which represents another unparalleled record in the annals of capital market transactions,
he proposed installation of Chief Rahaman Babatunde Mohammed, as the Olosunjela of Osunjela in Osun State, may have run into a hitch as the Owa Obokun of Ijesaland, Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, yesterday dissociated himself from what he called an attempt to rewrite the history of Ijesaland. In a letter to the Osun State governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, written on behalf of the traditional ruler by his counsel, Mr. Jola Akintola, copies of which
ted to ensuring that this does not repeat itself in the state. The governor said he was in constant touch with the state Commissioner of Police and other security operatives, in the quest to ensure that Mrs. Rotimi was rescued without any harm brought on her. “The state government is committed to this rescue effort, not only because Mrs. Rotimi is a senior citizen of the state, but we are committed to ensuring that crime of whatever kind is not committed in Oyo State against any citizen of the state,” the statement said. The governor said that the state government had put in place adequate security measures towards ensuring that Nigerians living in the state observed crime-free yuletide and New Year festivities.
were made available to journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Oba Aromolaran, said the event already scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, December 15, 2012, be suspended. Akintola while briefing journalists, said copies of the letter were also sent to the state Deputy Governor, the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in the state, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), the Chief of Staff to the Governor and the Executive Secretary of Atakumosa West Local Government Area. In the letter, the monarch said; “Traditionally and historically, there cannot be and there is no Oba at Osunjela which is a community in Ijesaland over which I am the paramount ruler. Installation of an Oba there will amount to rewriting the history of the community and Ijeshaland. “Mohammed was only installed by Oba Aromolaran as the ‘Baale’ of Osunjela, a position that can be occupied in Ijesaland by anybody, but usually by a non-indigene like Rahaman Mohammed. Mohammed is not an Ijesa-man and neither is he from Osun State, therefore, it is an aberration to install him or refer to him as an ‘Oba’ or crown him with beaded crown over a community in Ijesaland.
NAFDAC impounds N10m unregistered products
he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has sealed the premises of C. J. Frankline Ltd; on 62, Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos for importation, distribution and sale of the agency’s regulated products without valid registration documents and approval. Acting on a tip-off from some concerned Nigerians, who suspected illegal
activities within the company’s premises, a team of regulatory officers from the Enforcement Directorate accompanied by security operatives paid an unscheduled visit to the company where the offending products were discovered in very large quantities totaling about N10 million. The Director of Enforcement, NAFDAC, Mr. Garba Mcdonald, who briefed journalists after the exer-
cise gave the names of the products as: Xtreme fuel treatment which is a chemical component and Tahitian Noni, a liquid dietary supplement. According to him, while the chemical was brought into the country without a permit, the supporting documents for importing the dietary supplement had long expired and these constituted a serious violation of NAFDAC regulations
Ogun to co-opt JPs in justice dispensation FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
gun State Chief Judge, Justice Bukola Olopade, yesterday said the state would henceforth co-opt identified Justices of the Peace (JPs) in the administration of justice in the state. The chief justice made this known yesterday in Abeokuta, while meeting
with the Advocacy Committee arm of the Justice Development Peace Movement (JDPM), who sought her consent on how to reposition the administration of justice in the state. Flanked by the Chief Magistrate of the state, Mr. O. A. Ayobolu and other top officials, Justice Olopade said that beginning from the first quarter of 2013, all identified JPs in the state would
assume full statutory role in the judicial system of the state. Olopade’s assertion was coming against the backdrop of the demand by the JDPM that the state should introduce Community Service Sentencing as alternative to imprisonment in the state. Led by its Coordinator, Rev. Fr. Francis Diyaolu, JDPM said the use of the
that attracts corresponding sanctions. The director frowned at the company’s excuse of ignorance that they needed NAFDAC’s permit to bring in and distribute the chemicals and accused them of trying to cut corners for their own benefit. Meanwhile, the offending products had been evacuated from the company’s warehouse for further investigations. JPs as alternative access to justice would go a long way to reduce prison congestion often experienced in all the prisons across the state as well as reduce the financial burden of caring for the inmates. Diyaolu, who led the advocacy committee which included senior officials of prison services, said that prolonged trials as well as overuse of prisons for minor offence have done more damage than good to the society.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, December 14, 2012
Public ownership responsible for education decadence –Afe Babalola ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he founder of Afe Babalola University, ABUAD, AdoEkiti, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has traced the decadence in the education sector to the public ownership of educational institutions. Babalola, who said that government had no business investing in education, noted that the rot in the sector began with the takeover
of schools by the government. The legal icon spoke yesterday at the foundation laying ceremony of the administrative office of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, named after him. He said the best institutions in the world, including Havard University, are privately-owned. Babalola, who disclosed that over two million youths seek admission into Nigerian universities year-
ly, said less than 5,000 get admission and wondered where the rest would go. He praised the management of NTA, Ado-Ekiti, for looking inwards in funding the administrative block rather than waiting for the Federal Government. Babalola charged government agencies and departments to take a cue from the NTA Ado-Ekiti and stop relying on the subvention from the government alone since no government could do everything.
He said: “I support you wholeheartedly because you are not relying on the Federal Government to come and build the administrative block for you. No government can do every-
thing. But unfortunately, here in Nigeria, we rely on the government for everything and that is the problem with us today.” Babalola called on other philanthropists to donate to the construction of the project, as he promised that he would support it financially. The General Manager of the television station, Mr. Bernard Akinbola, said the target was to provide more office accommodation for
staff who had increased considerably over the years. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi said his administration would continue to support the organisation to discharge its duties effectively. Fayemi, who spoke through the Information Commissioner, Mr. Funminiyi Afuye, advised the corporation to continue to discharge its duties according to the ethics of the profession.
is a rumour monger, says ACN Missing N2.1bn: Sack Sanusi, NSPMC PDP W F management –Coalition ALE OLARIN OSOGBO
he Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has called on the Federal Government to sack the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for allowing N2.1 billion to disappear from the vaults of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC, last week. The Executive Chairman of the coalition, Debo Adeniran, said in a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday that the apex bank boss
should be shown the way out with the management of the NSPMC for dereliction of duty. Adeniran added that Sanusi and the board members should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. He said: “Sanusi and the management of NSPMC should be sacked and prosecuted for allowing such rapacious corruption to take place under their nose. How could such huge money leave the vaults of the CBN without any trace? Or do the CBN and NSPMC have spirits in their workforce? “It was definitely done in connivance with some staff members of the apex bank
because it is not easy for an outsider to walk into the NSPMC and cart away such huge money when it was not an armed robbery attack. “These people should stop toying with Nigerians’ sense and sensibility. It would take a bullion van to move such huge amount.” Adeniran added that the mystery behind the missing money must be unravelled and anyone found culpable be made to face the law. He said: “This is open corruption and must not be swept under the carpet like the other ones. Sanusi and his entire board members should be sacked and handed over to the EFCC for appropriate prosecution.”
Amosun hosts ACF, calls for unity
overnor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has advised ethnic nationalities in the country to interface and dialogue with one another to move the country forward. Amosun gave the advice yesterday in Abeokuta while receiving a delegation of Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, led by its Chairman, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed. He said “We should strive to live together in peace and harmony irrespective of tribe and religion. There is
no religion in the world that preaches violence.” The governor identified poverty as a major source of agitation and violence among the people, saying that “as government, we should be able to provide basic amenities for our people in order to reduce violence and crises in the country.” Earlier in his address, Mohammed said the aim of the visit was to have a dialogue with their counterpart in Yorubaland, the Yoruba Unity Forum, on how best to move the coun-
try forward and strengthen its unity. He said ACF was convinced that sister sociocultural organisations like the Yoruba Unity Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, SouthSouth Peoples Assembly and others should interact with one another to build bridges and break barriers standing in the way of better understanding, trust and confidence among all Nigerians. He identified challenges facing Nigeria as endemic poverty, illiteracy, diseases and unemployment.
Court strikes out suit against NULGE, MOAN
Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan has struck out a suit brought against the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, and the Mobile Advert Agency of Nigeria, MOAN, by the Mobile Emblem Hackney Producers Association of Nigeria, MEHPAN. The association had
gone to court for an interim injunction restraining NULGE and MOAN from streamlining the operations and activities of local council revenue agents and introducing biometric pin code aimed at stopping multiple taxation and ensuring uniformity in the collection of multiple taxation. MEHPAN told the court
that NULGE and MOAN had no business introducing biometric pin code or controlling the collection of taxes in the councils. NULGE and MOAN, however, argued through their counsel, Vincent Ogbona, that MEHPAN was a voluntary organisation registered by individuals, which had no business in revenue collection.
he Osun State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has accused the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the SouthWest of peddling falsehood. It, therefore, called on the National Secretariat of the PDP to call its members in the region to order. The ACN state Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, who made the accusation in a statement issued in Osogbo yesterday, said the PDP had continued to
peddle falsehood with the aim of tarnishing the image of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. The party said it was high time the opposition party stopped its continuous request for probe of the contract for road extension awarded by the Aregbesola’s administration to SAMMYA Construction Company. ACN also advised the PDP “to stop making a nuisance of itself by peddling falsehood and slandering otherwise reputable companies simply in an attempt to make Governor Aregbesiola appears incompetent
Politics 2015: Will opposition’s plot against PDP endure? If all the sectional parties can come together, their merger will have a national status and that is the only way they can contest with PDP. There is no way ACN, CPC or ANPP can win a presidential election because they are like regional parties –Mr. Kayode Salako, national coordinator of the Change Agent of Nigeria Network (CANN). I believe that we should have come together a long time ago to form a bigger party to challenge the PDP. It is a tragedy that a political party is headed by Balarabe Musa, another headed by Olu Falae, another political party headed by Tunji Braithwaite, another party headed by Arthur Nwankwo and another party headed by Ralph Obiorah. –Chief Maxi Okwu, lawyer and national leader of the Citizen Popular Party (CPP). I think we need to re-orientate ourselves even as politicians. Within the PDP, we are trying as much as possible to create an environment of change and cleansing. –Engr. Adedeji Doherty, organising secretary, South-West PDP.
and insincere.” The statement reads in part: “However, for the benefit of the South-West public that the PDP wants to bamboozle, we would like to put the records straight on the issue as it affects SAMMYA and the Government of Osun State. “We can say categorically that SAMMYA is not bankrupt in any way whatsoever. We are aware that there was a bank charge dispute early in 2011 between SAMMYA and Wema Bank, as a result of which the bank secured a court order to garnish the accounts of SAMMYA in other banks.
In the kidnappers’ den From the Niger Delta militants’ rebellious statement, kidnapping has now become an everyday affair in Nigeria. And for the perpetrators of the act, it has become lucrative. The list of victims includes the ordinary Nigerians through the average, the high and mighty to the oil firms expatriates. It is practically inexhaustible.
Living I used my 5-day-old baby for protective charms –Okuta, ex-armed robber In the late 80s and early 90s, the name Okuta sent chill down the spines of most Lagos residents. He was a notorious armed robber and cult member who was versed in the occult. Okuta, now an evangelist, went down memory lane spinning blood curling tales of ignominy.
HEAR? UNIBEN student wins Miss University Beauty Pageant
Friday December 14, 2012
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Kinsmen accuse Ohakim of illegal land acquisition Petition Okorocha
NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
embers of Umuzoho community in Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State have petitioned Governor Rochas Okorocha, asking him to assist them recover their landed property allegedly annexed by their kins-
man, former Governor Ikedi Ohakim. They said the petition stemmed from the fact that a committee they set up in the past written Ohakim to surrender the land and pay them N250 million compensation for the economic crops he destroyed, but to no avail. In the petition to Okorocha signed by their
Onitsha-based lawyer, Mr. Chris Ajugwe, the community said that they are the bonafide owners of the vast expanse of the land measuring about 32,232 square metres known as Ala-Uhuala and situated at Umuzoho. Entitled: “SOS on trespass and illegal expropriation of landed property of members of Umuzoho community and breach of fundamental rights:
demand for amend,” the community said that they inherited the property from time immemorial from their forefathers, adding that they had all along been using it for farming. The community alleged that without any consultation, Ohakim illegally invaded the land and acquired same, adding, however, that such acquisition ought to be in the public
interest and payment of compensation, but the reverse was the case. They recalled that when Ohakim was the governor in 2007, he allegedly sent bulldozers with truck load of hoodlums and policemen to invade and clear the land during which all the economic trees and the farm crops were destroyed. They added that the appeal by the poor owners
of the land to allow them harvest their crops before the hoodlums and the bulldozers destroyed them fell on deaf ear. According to members of the community, those who protested the destruction were ordered arrested and detained for several days by Ohakim. They, therefore, urged Governor Okorocha to intervene in the issue in the interest of justice.
‘Governors responsible for insecurity in South-East’ NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
prominent Igbo leader, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, has explained why insecurity thrives in the SouthEast, blaming the development on the governors’ failure to harness youths’ potential for productive purposes. Ezeonwuka said that the governors did not have meaningful plans for Igbo youths, saying the situation enhanced the current upsurge in crime in the South-East region. Speaking with journalists at the Rojenny Tourist/Games Village, Oba, Anambra State, he said that if the Igbo youths were taken care off by the governors through jobs creation, the youths would have changed from criminals to crime busters. Ezeonwuka, who is the Ogirishi of Igbo, said: “That almost the entire South-East zone could not win gold at the just concluded Eko 2012 is because the governors are not interested in the welfare of their youths, otherwise the people that are supposed to win this gold are our youths, but rather than groom them to win gold, they were left to take to kidnapping and armed robbery”. He, therefore, urged the governors, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to empower the youths for productive enterprises, alleging: “South-East governors are abetting kidnapping for not empowering our youths.” On the agitation for Igbo presidency in 2015, Ezeonwuka said: “The project cannot be actualized now because Ndigbo are not united as a result
of their inability to organise a befitting state burial for our war heroes who lost their lives during the civil war. “The restless spirits of the dead war heroes are just wondering about aimlessly and infusing evil into the spirits of the living, that evil spirits infused into the living ones will continue to create confusion and disunity among Ndigbo to the extent that they may not have the unity of purpose to execute the Igbo presidency project.” He also flayed the agitation for the creation of additional state or states in the South-East zone. The Ogirishi of Igbo described the agitation as uncalled for, asking Igbo businessmen to bring their investments home so as to create jobs for the youths. Ezeonwuka said: “What will benefit Ndigbo most is to bring our investments back home and provide jobs for our youths and not to agitate for creation of additional states. “We are just playing foolish politics by abandoning what will benefit the entire South-East people.”
Member representing Idemili North and South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Charles Odedo (left) laying the foundation PHOTO: NAN for the construction of Community Secondary School at Nnobi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State, yesterday.
Suspended institute’s Director-General recalled Promises robust tie with workers
he Director- General of Science Equipment Development Institute (SEDI) in Enugu, Prof. Christian Nwajagu, has returned to his office following his recall from suspension by the Federal Government. Nwajagu, who held reconciliation meetings with different segments of the staff of the institute yesterday, said his return was
to take the institute to the next level. He said the suspension had opened his eyes to some of the problems confronting the institute and pledged to work with the various groups, including unions. The director general said he would improve on the staff welfare and mobilise funds for staff training to improve research and other activities in the institute.
He said he would not use the opportunity of his return to victimise anyone and called for the cooperation of the staff to move the institute forward. “SEDI for me is a passion. It is not just where one works, it is a passion. I did not come back with a hammer to kill anyone,’’ he said. Nwajagu said the institute would pursue the establishment of a laboratory for the testing of com-
Christmas: Enugu provides free transport for indigenes returning home
he Enugu State Government has provided free transportation for its indigenes intending to return home for Christmas, an official said. Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu yesterday, Mr Okey Mba, the General Manager of Entraco, the state’s transport corporation, said the free transport would operate
in 13 states. He listed the states as Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Ibadan, Nasarawa, Borno, Taraba, Kastina, Jigawa, Niger, Kwara and Uyo as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Mba said: “We are providing luxurious buses, some states will get two luxury buses some will get one so we are also considering the crisisravaged states. “We are expecting an
upsurge because of the security situation in some parts of the northern states like Kano, Kaduna and Borno. “So we are looking at those flash point states. We are expecting an upsurge. So we are likely going to deploy more luxury buses to them.’’ Mba said the buses would bring them home from Decembers 21 to Decembers 24, saying it was the state government’s
desire for the indigenes to come home to celebrate Christmas with their families. He said the drivers of the vehicles had been warned to maintain speed limit of between 80 km/hour and 100 km/ hour for safety reasons. He said the idea was to encourage the indigenes of the state living outside it to return home and celebrate with their people.
ponents of the equipment it manufactures. The institute recently concluded the manufacture of a single cylinder pumping machine which it produced through reverse technology or copy technology. Some of the staff members expressed happiness that the director general was back, saying it was the will of God for him to return. Mr Kenneth Enebe, the Engineering Project Coordinator, said the announcement of his return on Wednesday was an indication that the workers wanted him to return to the agency. Mr Francis Idiong, the branch Secretary of the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes, pledged the cooperation of the union’s members while the branch Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union, Mr Henry Amadi, called for proper information management in the institute.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, December 14, 2012
Six die in Benin-Auchi-Abuja road crash SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
ix people died on Wednesday in an auto crash on Benin-Auchi-Abuja Expressway. The accident also left not less than 18 other citizens with various degrees of injuries. Eye witnesses told National Mirror that the crash, which occurred at about 6:15pm, involved an articulated vehicle and two other passenger
buses, which respective destinations were yet to be known as at the time of filing this report. As expected, the accident caused gridlock on the busy road for hours before the dead, injured, truck and buses were evacuated by the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) officials. Confirming the incident yesterday, FRSC Sector Commander, Mr. Kenneth Nwaegbe, said the dead included five male and a female.
Pupils protest colleague’s shooting in Delta
•Destroy teachers’ vehicles AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA
upils of Ovwian Secondary School in Udu Local Government Area of Delta State yesterday went on the rampage and destroyed property worth several millions of naira following the alleged shooting of their female colleague by a local vigilance group. The pupils destroyed over 10 cars belonging to their teachers. Two teachers and a female pupil were also injured in the incident. The incident, it was learnt, started when someone believed to be a teacher in the school invited members of the vigilance group to prevail on some pupils, who were throwing fireworks within the premises, to stop the act. But members of the vigilance group, on arrival at the school at about 9:10am, were met with stiff resistance by the pu-
pils. It was learnt that as the pupils attempted to mob members of the vigilance group, they (members of the group) fired gun shots and one female pupil was hit. Irked by the development, hell was let loose as the pupils went on the rampage. They destroyed all the cars parked with the school’s premises. Two teachers, Mrs. Helen Oghre and another, whose name was not given, were critically injured. Commenting on the issue, the school’s principal, Mrs. J A Etemeke, said what provoked the pupils was the arrest of their innocent colleague by members of the vigilance group, who actually wanted to arrest those throwing the fireworks. According to her, it took the intervention of the policemen attached to the Ovwian-Aladja Police Station led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police, John Osuoya, to bring the situation under control.
Some suspected armed robbers and kidnappers paraded at Delta State Police Command in Asaba, yesterday.
Onshore, offshore debate is divisive, says Akpabio OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
Pipeline vandalism: Oshiomhole orders destruction of 11 tankers SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
overnor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of Edo State has ordered the destruction of 11 tankers used by pipeline vandals to siphon fuel. Oshiomhole condemned the activities of the vandals after watching the destruction of the 11 fuel tankers at the place they were being
used to siphon fuel. Two cars and many jerry cans used by vandals, who were arrested by security agents, were also destroyed. The governor said: “It is a shame that we still have some criminal elements in our midst who are still involved in pipeline vandalization in spite of the fact this has claimed several lives in different parts of the country over
overnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State yesterday condemned the agitation for the revisit of the debate on onshore, offshore dichotomy, warning that it would provoke hatred among Nigerians. Speaking at the retreat on capacity-building for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Zonal/State Publicity and Organising Secretaries in Uyo, the state capital, Akpabio described the attempt to re-debate the on-shore, offshore dichotomy as unpatriotic and unnecessary, saying it would bring back militancy in the oil producing states, fresh agitations and hatred among the diverse people of the nation. a period of time. “The destruction of the tankers is to make the point that those who allow their assets or facilities to be used to perpetrate crimes like this within the territory of Edo State when apprehended would be counting their losses. “I want to use this opportunity to appeal to our people that we all have a stake in this country and to ensure that government property are protected. It is our commonwealth and everybody must be vigilant.
The governor said: “Those who are championing the onshore, offshore debate are ignorant of the fact that the oil producing states are actually getting only stipends from the Federation Account when what they put into the common national purse is taken into cognisance. “Natural resources abound in every state of the federation, but unfortunately, most of the solid minerals are either not explored or where they are being explored, the proceeds goes into private pockets rather that the Federation Account. “Every state has something embedded in the soil; it is time for us to look inwards. People are illegally mining our gold and other resources in Zamfara and other states and some of them are not even Nigeri-
ans”. He reminded those who cannot look beyond oil that developed countries are toiling hard to find alternatives to oil and it would be economically suicidal for Nigerian not to diversify the economy before oil is sidelined as a major source of energy. Akpabio said: “The debate is deepening dependence on oil. It is time to think on how to diversify our economy. There are dangers ahead because alternatives to oil are being discovered daily”. He appealed to those pushing for the revisit of the on-shore, off-shore debate to retrace their steps in the interest of the unity of the country. The governor said: “It is time for us to focus on things that bring us together and
not what divide us. Why must we continue to divide Nigeria?” Akpabio, however, said the retreat for the PDP officials was long overdue in order to reposition the party for emerging challenges. He said: “This retreat is an uncommon event because this is the first time since 1999 that this type of retreat is organised by PDP”. The governor believes that for a very long time PDP took things for granted and allowed the opposition to have domination over the use of the mass media to undermine the achievement of party’s members. He said: “For a while, we left communication to the opposition. Strategically speaking, we need to communicate and the same time strategise to deepen democracy”.
Edo offsets N1bn brewery debt SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
he Edo State Government yesterday said it had paid N1 billion of the over N2 billion owed by past management of Bendel Breweries Plc to ensure the company comes back life. Governor Adams Oshiomhole disclosed this yesterday at a meeting with the management of the company at the Government House in Benin, the state
capital. He said the government was anxious to get the breweries back to full functional capacity. Oshiomhole said: “Bendel Breweries had been mismanaged and there had been a series of crises including debt to the tune of N2 billion. “But we now have a deal with AMCON and we are paying the debt monthly. Today, Edo taxpayers have paid N1 billion on behalf
of the management and workers of Bendel Breweries for the beer you produced and sold.” Meanwhile, the governor said the state government would revisit the case of teachers sanctioned recently for truancy and lateness to work. It will be recalled that Oshiomhole ordered the suspension of some teachers and dismissal of 41 Inspectors of Education for dereliction of duty.
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Middle Belt leaders decry marginalisation, poverty OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
eaders and elders of the Middle Belt region yesterday put met on how to develop and move the region forward. The leaders also cried out against poverty and marginalisation of the region by successive governments. Speaking at the 3rd Middle Belt Leaders’ Conference held in Abuja, the Chairman of the Middle
Belt Forum, MBF, Prof. Jerry Gana, regretted that most of the infrastructure and projects that would bring development to the region were being neglected by government. He, however, called on the Federal Government to complete Ajaokuta Steel Complex and not to carry over the project to the next administration, adding that if it were in other region it would have long been completed.
He said: “We want more states in the Middle Belt. If the will of the people is for more states to be created, then the National Assembly should ensure that more states are created. “Infrastructural problem especially roads in the Middle Belt are terrible. Ajaokuta steel should be completed and should not be carried over by this administration. “Why the complex is not completed is because it is in the Middle Belt; if it were in
other region it would have long been completed. We should apply every political pressure to ensure this project is completed. Nigeria has enough resources to complete Ajaokuta now. “Middle Belt is so well endowed with massive land and mineral resources that our people should have no business with poverty. Yet, we have very serious situations of tragic poverty and marginalisation. How can our region be so rich but our
people so poor?” Gana ascribed the problem in the region to poor agricultural productivity, weak industrial base, very poor infrastructure, weak and corrupt institutions, devastating security problems and conflicts, poor leadership with poor vision and very weak access to financial resources for development. The former minister of information and national orientation said that the only way out of the lingering problems was for the leaders and elders of the Middle Belt to resolve and set in motion very powerful forces of development in the region.
He said: “We cannot continue to have such a rich region, yet remain so poor. We must seek to understand the nature of our crisis and find effective solutions.” The former National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Audu Ogbe, who spoke on the topic: “Creating wealth through agricultural transformation of the Middle Belt,” noted that despite the progress made in the professions and politics generally by the Middle Belt, the people could not be counted among Nigerian industrialists, bank owners, big traders, importers, exporters among others.
We must end violence now –Kwankwaso AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
ano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso yesterday said the security challenges confronting the North must be tackled with all available resources of government. Kwankwaso said this when the Healing, ReconcilOgun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun (right) and Chairman, Arewa Consultative Forum, Alhaji Aliko Mohammed, during a courtesy visit iatory and Security Commitby the forum to the governor in Abeokuta, yesterday. tee constituted by the northern governors paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House. The governor urged fled his palatial mansion in not have fled his home in Prince Abubakar Audu ISE-OLUWA IGE members of the committee (hereinafter referred to as Abuja to evade arrest last Asokoro to evade arrest. ABUJA The anti-graft agency Tuesday when he travelled “Our Client”) and we write to use the opportunity proormer Governor said its decision was the out of the country for medi- you this letter on his behalf vided them to solve the secuAbubakar Audu of last option to bring Audu to cal attention in London and instructions. rity problem bedevilling the Kogi State yesterday compulsory justice over his eight days before the day he “We hereby acknowledge North. said, for now, he would not be alleged stealing of about N4 was said to have fled. Kwankwaso said for the receipt of your letter No. able to honour an invitation billion public fund while he He also made other clarifi- CR:3000/EFCC/ABJ/ISOS/ North to move forward at by the Economic and Finan- held sway as the governor cations in the letter which was T.M.11/VOL.7/37 dated 11th this crucial time, the stakecial Crimes Commission, between 1999 and 2003. December, 2012, inviting our holders must come together signed by his lawyer, Chief EFCC, for clarifications on a client to interview on Thurs- to find a lasting solution to But puncturing the EF- Mike Ozekhome (SAN). pending N4 billion fraud al- CC’s claims yesterday, Audu The letter reads in part: day 13th December, 2012, by the perennial security problegation against him. lem in the region. said in a letter that he could “We act as solicitors to 10:00am. He said would not be He said: “I believe this is available for questioning unthe time to sort out our diftil he was allowed to return to Nigeria by the authorities •Arrest political –Northern students AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST Kyari frowned at the view with our corresponof a United Kingdom hospiAND AZA MSUE level of publicity the story dent. tal where he was receiving He said the commission has generated, saying that treatment. unmen yesterday he Economic and was still working on the it was the handiwork of Audu was involved in a burnt the Madagali Financial Crimes case to ensure Aminu’s the opposition to distract motor accident on his way Divisional Police Commission, EFCC, early prosecution for the the governor. from Abuja to Jos on SepStation in Madagali Local Meanwhile, the Nation- Government Area of Adhas granted Aminu, the financial crime. tember 29. However, Lamido yes- al Association of North- amawa State. He was immediately eldest son of the Jigawa rushed to Diff Hospital, State Governor Sule Lami- terday denied that Aminu ern State Students Unions, A witness, who preferred was attempting to launder NANSSU, yesterday ac- anonymity, told the News Aso Drive, Maitama, Abuja, do an administrative bail. cused politicians opposed Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Aminu was granted yes- the $40,000 found on him. for first aid treatment. The In a statement broad- to Lamido’s presidential in Yola yesterday on phone former governor was later terday, a day after he was flown to a London hospital arrested at the Mallam cast on Radio Jigawa, the ambition in 2015 of being that the gunmen set the staAminu Kano International governor’s Chief Press behind Aminu’s arrest. for intensive medical care. tion ablaze around 7p.m. NANSSU Secretary But, while still receiving Airport Kano, MAKIA, for Secretary, Kyari MadamuThe source added that the treatment in the London alleged money laundering. wa, said Aminu was going General, Comrade Ado attack claimed the life of the The EFCC spokesper- to use the money to offset Shehu, said in a statement only inmate in detention at hospital, the EFCC on Tuesson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the hospital bills of his that it was an attempt to the station. day declared him wanted. The commission claimed confirmed the develop- daughter lying critically tarnish the governor’s imConfirming the incident, age. that the former governor ment in a telephone inter- ill in a Cairo hospital. the state Police Command
N4bn fraud: I can’t honour EFCC’s invitation now –Audu
Money laundering: EFCC releases Lamido’s son on bail
ferences and move forward, because within Nigeria, other parts of the country cannot wait for the North in the course of development as such we have to put our acts together before it is too late.” Kwankwaso added that security challenges must be resolved because “it affects all other parts of our lives including religion, education, agriculture and all other areas.” The governor urged the committee members to also give opportunity to non-invited members of the public to the hearing so that their feelings could be incorporated whereby everybody could have a sense of belonging in the quest for an enduring peace. The leader of the delegation, Mukhtar Mohammed, said the committee was in Kano State to sample opinions of the people to be able properly handle the assignment in the interest of the region and the country.
One dies as gunmen torch police station in Adamawa
Public Relations Officer, DSP Mohammed Ibrahim, said the station was burnt, but there was no police casualty. He said: “There is no police casualty and I am yet to confirm the death of anybody in detention.” The attack in Madagali, which is bordering Borno State, was the second in the area this year. The attack followed a similar one visited on the Shuwa Police Station located in the area early in the year.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Nigeria needs political stability to succeed –Doherty
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No marginalisation in Delta State – SSG
Days of imposition, parallel lists over in PDP – Tukur OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bamanga Tukur, has said that the party will no longer tolerate imposition of candidates and parallel lists and similar undemocratic vices during future congresses. Tukur, who spoke yes-
terday at the opening of a retreat on capacity building for zonal/state publicity and organising secretaries and staff of the party in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, explained that imposition of candidates is a major source of mis-governance and anti-democratic activities. According to him, having sworn to abide by the spirit of the founding fathers of
Mimiko bent on plunging Ondo into debt –ACN equally surprising was the OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
he Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, has been accused of a deliberate attempt to plunge the state into wanton debt and in the process jeopardise the welfare of future generations of the state. This accusation, which came on the heels of the current move by the Mimiko-led administration to borrow $77.9 million from various foreign organisations, was made by the Ondo State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in a statement signed by the party’s Director of Media, Publicity and Strategy, Idowu Ajanaku and made available to National Mirror. Describing the move as embarrassing and in tandem with the trademark of the Mimiko administration, Ajanaku said that questions have been raised on how the administration spent over N600 billion which accrued to it from the Federation Account for almost four years of its existence and the N50 billion capital market loan, despite that the state is one of the major oil producing states. ACN said: “What we see is decayed infrastructure, deplorable roads, lack of portable water in the cities and rural areas of the state.” The party added that
claim by the state Finance Commissioner, Yele Ogundipe, that the $77.9 million loan would be expended on youth empowerment and health programmes, saying: “This is a government that has no track record to show for any job provision since inception or is it the type of jobs at Ore Farm Settlement we are talking about, where majority of the youth abandoned at the camp have escaped for their dear lives? Is it the Arigidi Tomatoes Factory type of jobs which has now become a pure water store or the Auga Akoko Cattle Farms?” The party said that it was not in support of the state securing any foreign loan which it said is probably to pursue the governor’s dream of rearing 30,000 babies per annum and therefore threw its weight behind the Senate, which had said that “the state was not seeking the loans for projects that would have direct impact on the lives of the people.” The party therefore condemned the fresh move to further plunge the state into the needless debt, saying: “The Internally Generated revenue (IGR) and monthly allocation from the Federation Account are enough to transform the state if properly channelled to build infrastructure like roads, water and provide incentives for private investments in the state.”
the PDP in building and nurturing a political party that would set the ideal in party administration and governance, he was not prepared to compromise the wishes of the people. The PDP boss who spoke extensively on the values of upholding fairness and internal party democracy, observed that where the wishes of the people were annulled, several negative consequences crop up, emphasising that this must stop.
Tukur said: “I have said it at some other occasions that the era of imposition is over; that the era of parallel lists of congresses is also over. I wish to state further that the era where the wishes of the people are whimsically annulled as far as our leadership of the PDP is concerned is far gone forever. “It suffices that we intend to emphases that we are not ready to compromise our stake on internal democracy and we are not
going to yield any ground in our determination to ensure that fairness guides our internal party practices. “On March 8, we promised to use the historic opportunity of our leadership of the ruling party to chart a new course for the party and by implication for the nation. “We also promised to bring back to the front burner the founding ideals of our great party as a catalyst for re-directing
national development goals and objectives.” He emphasised that the procedure for achieving his set objectives and reengineer the process is for the leaders of the party at all levels to live up to their electoral promises and responsibilities. He warned the publicity secretaries to be alive to their duties and avoid allowing the opposition overwhelm them with negative publicity and outright propaganda
L-R: Former National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo; National Vice Chairman, (South-South), Steve Oru; Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio and PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur at a retreat for party officials in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State yesterday.
Rigging, source of conflict in parties – Nwodo OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
ormer national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, yesterday warned against violating the electoral wishes of the people as it remained the primary source of political upheavals in the country. Nwodo, who spoke at a capacity building for zonal/ state publicity and organising secretaries and staff of the PDP in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, stresses that the respect leaders command all over the world depends on the level of the credibility of their elections. In a paper entitled: “Deepening Democracy
through Internal Party Democracy: Strategies for Conducting Credible, Free, Fair Party Congresses and Primaries”, Nwodo, stressed the need for the party leaders to respect the sanctity of internal democracy. He emphasised that the public would accord respect to a political party only when it adheres to internal democracy in selecting its candidates at elections. Stressing the importance of honesty in the process, Nwodo stated that “for a party to be taken seriously, the practice of internal democracy is a sine qua non. It is the only way by which credible and respected leaders can be produced.”
Providing method through which such could be achieved, the former national chairman called on the party leadership to adopt his stand on e-registration of members, which he stressed is bereft of manipulation. According to him, “if a political party adopts e-registration parameters, no aspiring member would be denied membership rights while the party gets the membership dues without inhibitions. “By this module, nobody is disenfranchised from registering in the party. The registration fees and annual dues go straight to the coffers of the party. It gives members the dignity of ownership of their
party and the audacity of their participation in party activities.” Nwodo further stated that the practice would guarantee constant funding discipline as well as commitment to party ideology among ordinary members and elected office holders. Nwodo charged the party leadership to champion this cause, warning that infighting and rancour noticed in the party were a result of revolt and disenchantment on certain practices that denied them the right to freely chose who they wanted at any point. He said that when the rights of members are fragrantly denied them, they would go to any length to fight back.
Engr. Adedeji Doherty is the organising secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the South-West. The former Lagos State PDP governorship aspirant, in this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, speaks on the party’s quest to take over from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the zone. Excerpts:
Friday, December 14, 2012
Nigeria needs political stability to succeed –Doherty up. The economy is being opened up through private participation in all sectors. Don’t forget that consistent democracy in this country is less than 20 years. We have countries like America, Greece, Britain, Ireland, Spain all going through recession and pitfalls. We seem to be handling our own problems very well. All we need is political stability, re-orientation of politicians to serve the country and to be more committed to the country. We have to reduce corruption in this country. Though corruption is a global phenomenon, in Nigeria we have been able to talk about it, address it and expose people on it. When you start exposing former governors, former permanent secretaries and many public office holders who are corrupt, then you are creating awareness and a pointer for caution for those that are coming behind. That is what a country should do and that is what the PDP is doing and that is what is going to carry the nation forward.
How would you assess the Babatunde Fashola-led administration in Lagos State? Lagos State during the first four years of Governor Babatunde Fashola saw some kind of improvement. We saw the administration executing some projects that were already ongoing. We saw some resemblance of progress in the educational sector as well as in infrastructural progress. However, in this second term, unfortunately, what I have seen so far is a situation whereby the vision of the progressive governor seems to be different from the vision of the party. The ACN definitely has decided to spend its time and energy in other areas other than Lagos State. However, they have more or less engaged the governor in the management of their activities more than the management of the state and that is where I see that there is a problem. It is a colossal problem because unfortunately, the Lagos State residents, indigenes and non indigenes, businessmen, traders, the poor children that go to public schools, civil servants, are the people paying the price of that kind of mismatch. Right now, except things change within the next couple of months that are available for this administration to show some kind of difference, I believe it will be a bad ending for an administration that started on a good note. Presently, the ACN has a strong grip on Lagos State and the South-West; do you see the PDP as an alternative in the 2014 and 2015 elections? Looking at PDP being an alternative, definitely if we choose a good candidate that has the passion of Lagos State at heart, we will definitely have a strong force to go against the ACN come 2015. And once that is done I believe all factions will come together and all of us will work towards the same goal. Our aim is to win Lagos in the next election. You said PDP’s aim is to win Lagos State but many people believe that the party is not doing much at the centre. We are Nigerians and we seem to usually forget where we are coming from. It takes education and understanding to really understand progress in a country. It is not something that because you have gone to secondary school, then you can just understand. There is something called the macro-economic factors and indices of a country and micro-economic fundamentals of a country. The PDP met a shattered Nigeria. Our external debt was $36 billion then, but as we speak today, our external debt is probably close to about $4 billion. We also have a reserve that is up to about $8-10 billion. We have a situation whereby Nigeria’s economy has moved up close to at least 20 times better than what it was when the PDP took over government 13 years ago. Also, you can see a situation whereby foreign investments into this country from the time PDP took over government till now, is already in excess of about $300 billion. This has shown stability in the economy and government. At the same time, there has been some other milestone turnaround from the PDP government. The party has tactically cut down spending and white elephants projects. For example, the fertiliser company has been privatised; other moribund enterprises have been privatised. All the leakages that usually happened in the country, have also been reduced considerably under the administration of the PDP. If you take the Obasanjo administration into consideration, you can see that even in the telecoms and finance sectors, there has been a revolution. All these things have assisted the economy to grow.
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WHEN YOU START EXPOSING FORMER GOVERNORS, FORMER PERMANENT SECRETARIES AND MANY PUBLIC OFFICE HOLDERS WHO ARE CORRUPT, THEN YOU ARE CREATING AWARENESS AND A POINTER FOR CAUTION FOR THOSE THAT ARE COMING BEHIND One thing that indicates the growth of a country is the freedom of the people to speak; the freedom of the press and the freedom for people to voice out, their fundamental human rights. You can never see where a media outfit is being shut for its opposition to the PDP. So, the PDP has shown a lot of democratic fundamentals. Even though we cannot be 100 per cent; we are well above average, compared to most Africa countries. You can see that our economy is more stable under the PDP government. We have moved away from having just oil as our mainstay into liquefied natural gas which in the next five years is going to give us almost the same income as oil. Also, there is a very heavy investment in the agricultural sector; there is heavy investment through foreign and private participation in the aviation sector. There is also foreign investments in the mining and transport sector. In the education sector, we are seeing private participation with many private universities springing
Insecurity is a major problem facing Nigeria today; do you think the government is doing enough to address this challenge? What people need to understand is that the insecurity in the country is happening in a certain section. In America, the World Trade Tower was blown and you see Al-Qaeda doing a lot of things inside America and that is security problem. Every minute in America, close to about 10 people are killed on the streets. There is so much government can do as far as security is concerned. However, in the Nigerian context, for example in Lagos State, you see that the issue of armed robbery has gone down a little bit with a lot of the robbers running to Ogun State and those ones are battling them there. You can see the federal and state governments doing joint task force on security in different areas and that effort has been able to solve some security problems. As far as security in the North is concerned, in relation to Boko Haram, it is more of religious and tribal issue, but it is being curtailed. We haven’t seen the Boko Haram coming into the East or South. It has been curtailed in the North and government is now looking for solutions on how the crisis can be resolved. Definitely, it is a problem; the Federal Government is looking at it, the PDP is looking at it and everybody is putting heads together to see how better to resolve this problem and I believe that is the beginning of the end of Boko Haram. There are some insinuations that you are warming up for Lagos State governorship in 2015, how true is that? Everybody has an ambition but 2015 is still down the line. Right now, I am the Organising Secretary of the PDP in the South-West and I have assignments that I am supposed to do; I am busy with that assignment. It is very overwhelming; we have issues to take care of in the states and we are supposed to get the states ready for the general elections in 2015. So, if I am going to come out in 2015, it is not in my priority today. Given the marginalisation of South-West in federal appointments, some people believe that the position of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) chairman should return to the zone. What is your take on this? I believe the issue of the chairmanship of the Board of Trustees is constitutional and it needs to be filled in a constitutional manner and it has to show federal character. You will recall that the president comes from the South and I believe that the BoT chairman constitutionally cannot come from the South again, especially when it was being held by a South-West member in the first place. Basically, I don’t think that it will come back to the South again. However, as far as the South-West is concerned on the issues of not participating in this administration, I think we have met with the president and our leaders have discussed with him and I believe he is looking into it.
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Friday, December 14, 2012
ing. We extend relationship to other ethnic nationalities. The truth is that no matter what you want to be, no ethnic nationality can make it on its own. Even the majority nationalities cannot say they can stand it alone. If they say so, then they are making a mistake and I am sure everybody is beginning to realise that we need to build bridges of understanding if we must achieve our collective aspiration as a people with common destiny. Many people are talking about 2015 and I ask them, how do we get there? You can’t be talking of 2015 when you are not united, so you need to first and foremost get the people united.
Why did you hold this interactive session in Lagos and not in Delta State? The event is a very unique one because one problem governments have continued to have is that they seem to distance themselves from the people. People are afraid of being criticised, people don’t want to hear the opinion of those they are leading and so in Delta State in the last three years, we have instituted town hall meetings that are being anchored by the governor on senatorial bases, but today (Saturday), we decided to bring this meeting here, after the emergency one I held in Isoko at Ole, so that Isoko people who are living outside, especially those of them in Lagos and its environ will have a feeling of the presence of government. They must be informed of the genuine efforts we are making to ensure that there is development in our state. We want to gauge their feelings, we want to know their problems, we want to know their expectations from government and to use the occasion to pass to them what government’s intentions and programmes are, and I think that is the essence of governance. Isoko people are still crying of marginalisation, do you share that view? I don’t subscribe to the cry of marginalisation because today Urhobos will say they are marginalised, Ijaw will say they are marginalised and even the Itsekiri that produced the governor are crying of marginalisation. So, it has become a sing-song. How are they marginalised? I am an Isoko son; what others are having, we are having also; but nobody, group or section can have everything that they desire to have. On that basis, they can say they are not having enough. I will agree that they are not having enough, we need to have more, but come to think of it, which section have enough? To say they are being marginalised is wrong. The present government in the state has ensured that things are equitably distributed. We have tried to ensure that no group or section is neglected or discriminated against. Isoko people are looking ahead the 2015 elections, how are they planning to play the political game, especially as it concerns Delta State? What exactly do you think they are looking for? I will not want to pre-empt what you mean. They are positioning the zone for the governorship position. If you had listened very well to what I said during my speech, I said that the Isoko people will be what they want to be. In other words, what they make of themselves is what they will be. The sky is their limit and the degree of their political relevance is in their hands. I am just playing my own little role, what I can do to position the Isoko people is what I am doing. What they want to be is left for them. The unity among them, the level of their political consciousness, their political determination and all that, will determine how far they can go. As the SSG of the Delta, to what extent will you say that you have satisfied the yearnings and aspirations of your people? I am happy that you said my position is the SSG of the state. I am serving Delta State; I am not serving just the Isoko peo-
Are the Isoko people considering having a traditional leader in Lagos State like some other ethnic groups? Please don’t go there; Isoko people will not have traditional rulers in another state. I do not think it is part of our culture to have traditional rulers in Diaspora.
No marginalisation in Delta State – SSG The Secretary to the Delta State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, at the weekend, had an interactive session with members of the Isoko community of the state resident in Lagos. In this interview with journalists, he speaks on alleged marginalisation of some ethnic nationalities in the state and efforts of the Uduaghan-led administration to ensure delivery of democracy dividends to the people. FELIX NWANERI brings the excerpts: ple. My duty is to make sure that no part of Delta State is cheated. I go for equity; I go for fairness. That is my work as the SSG, and in doing that, the Isoko people will not be cheated, that is what I can assure them. What has been the challenge of the Delta State government on the issue of flooding that recently ravaged not only the state but almost the entire country? It was a big challenge for the government because the flood was not expected, nobody budgeted for it, and nobody thought that we can be a victim of such a heavy disaster. But all the same, government is on top of the situation. The challenge from the Presidency to the governor was that of, how do we manage it, how do we fund
it? But today, I can say in all honesty that Delta State was on top of the situation such that when the Presidential Committee came to Delta State, they were happy with what was on ground, they never believed it was an emergency situation given the way we handled it. You told the Isoko people during your address that they should forge a united front ahead of 2015. What are you going to put in place as an Isoko son to sustain this aspiration and move forward? My simple assignment is to continue to preach the gospel of unity, asking my people to stop the syndrome of pull him down, coming together to speak with one voice, build bridges of better understand-
I DID NOT COME TO LAGOS TO CAMPAIGN FOR ANY POLITICAL POSITION. WE ARE HERE TO TELL OUR PEOPLE THE GIANT STRIDES OF THE
STATE GOVERNMENT, THE HUMBLE AND SINCERE EFFORTS OF THE
AND THE NEED FOR OUR PEOPLE TO APPRECIATE THEIR GOVERNMENT
What are the basic things you have gathered from the town hall meeting, and is there any plan to take this programme to other states? Yes, there are plans to take this programme to other states. I even said it when I was delivering my speech. We will take it to Port Harcourt, Abuja and many other states. We must spread it out to give our people the opportunity to know what their government is doing at home. I have really learnt from this meeting because some of the people outside home have the problem of lack of information. If you don’t inform the people of what you are doing, you create suspicion for government. Most of the people just stay outside and some people will be feeding them with the wrong information, I mean most of them are misinformed like most of the issues some of them raised. Somebody said there is no project in his community, but by the time I mentioned the various projects sited in his community, he was satisfied. He asked the question because he was not properly informed. There were some communities that had no light and it was like a plague, but today, the story is different for those communities. So, you need to continuously meet with the people and carry them along in all that you do. We give communities their priority projects. When I was campaigning for the governorship position I made some promises to some communities and today, although I am not the governor, we have fulfilled those promises and we are not resting on our oars. Our commitment is to positively affect the lives of Deltans and we have remained resolute in doing it to the joy of the people. What is your advice to your people? My advice is simple, and that is, they must be united, they must not pull themselves down, they should support the government of the day and position themselves for greater political relevance. Are you running for the governorship position again? That is not the aim of this visit to meet my people in Lagos. I did not come to Lagos to campaign for any political position. We are here to tell our people the giant strides of the state government, the humble and sincere efforts of the Uduaghan-led government and the need for our people to appreciate their government.
Friday, December 14, 2012
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On N6.2 billion for PIB lobby, enlightenment
he N6.2 billion vote by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to ‘oil’ the passage of, and create awareness on the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), appears suspicious. It is alarming that the huge fund that should have been channeled to the provision of infrastructure, job creation and other biting social deficits can be set aside for doubtful PIB lobby and campaigns. During the 2013 budget defence for her ministry last week, the petroleum minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, told the National Assembly that the N6.2 billion would be spent on awareness campaigns, but failed to give details. Media reports also did not indicate that the lawmakers sufficiently queried the PIB lobby and awareness vote. The NASS, in our view, ought to have grilled the minister on what necessitated the proposed expenditure to ensure that public funds are not funneled into bogus projects that may turn out to be conduits for money laundering. The purpose of the executive arm of government - ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to be precise, presenting budgets before the legislature is to ensure proper scrutiny, which forms part of the constitutional oversight functions of the NASS. The essence is to make sure that the
electorate gets value for money. The NASS must realize that deficient legislative interrogation of the executive by the legislature, like the type witnessed during the petroleum ministry’s defence of its N6.2 billion vote for the PIB, fuels public suspicion that the fund is to lobby unspecified persons or agencies for the speedy passage of the controversial bill, first introduced in the year 2000 to liberalise the oil industry and allow Nigerians to benefit more from the mineral endowment through a comprehensive regime of regulations. The foundation of this suspicion derives from previous incidents in which MDAs, including the police, accused NASS members of demanding for bribes to approve their budgets. Whereas the Femi Otedola - Farouk Lawan bribe saga, among others, is still fresh, a former Minister of Education, Fabian Osuji, was also sacked for allegedly offering N50 million bribe to lawmakers to raise the ministry’s budget. Since the past 12 years, the PIB has suffered disastrous fits and starts, with multinational oil corporations allegedly throwing money around to ensure the death of the bill, which they claimed would shrink their outlandish profits and, by implication, stop their lucrative business of fleecing the nation. Different, patently dubious versions of the
THE PETROLEUM MINISTRY AND NASS OWE THE PUBLIC THE SACRED DUTY OF ENSURING THAT THE
N6.2 BILLION LOBBY VOTE IS NOT MEANT TO COMPROMISE THE
PIB were also consciously circulated by the oil cabal, ostensibly to kill the bill and its good intentions. At the 18th Nigerian Economic Summit held recently in Abuja, the Federal Government and oil firms disagreed on the controversy that the fiscal regime on tax, royalty, production sharing contracts, oil block management, etc. prescribed by the PIB, would lead to divestments in the oil sector. A foreign expert who worked on the bill had likewise alerted some months ago of a grand plot to water down the PIB’s provisions on transparency, accountability and probity, the lack of which has made Nigeria’s oil industry a killing field for dishonest multinational firms and their unpatriotic local bureaucracy collaborators. The recommendation, which is in tandem with the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) global ethical standards of good
practices, demands that oil firms publish what they pay to the government; and for the government to publish what it earns from oil transactions. Although the United States of America has legislated that its registered firms operating abroad must comply with a financial reporting standard, Nigerian politicians still want to keep the public in the dark. This is quite unfortunate! To inspire public confidence and earn the respect it rightly deserves from other arms of government, the National Assembly must rise above the pettiness of filthy lucre from any source and do its patriotic duty of protecting the interest of the country and the people. At stake are the domestication and control of the nation’s oil industry and mainstay of the economy, removal of dubious monopoly practices, unbundling of the NNPC, imposing hefty sanctions to discourage reckless and unhealthy gas flaring, as well as empowering oil communities in order to end militancy and environmental pollution with impunity, among others. The petroleum ministry and NASS owe the public the sacred duty of ensuring that the N6.2 billion lobby vote is not meant to compromise the PIB, by spelling out details of what the money is meant for; who the potential beneficiaries are, and the work to be done.
ON THIS DAY December 14, 2006 American spy satellite, USA-193, was launched. A spy satellite (officially referred to as a reconnaissance satellite) is an Earth observation satellite or communications satellite deployed for military or intelligence applications. These are essentially space telescopes that are pointed toward the Earth instead of toward the stars. The first generation type (i.e. Corona and Zenit) took photographs, and then ejected canisters of photographic film, which descended to earth.
Letters to the Editor
December 14, 2004 The Millau viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world, near Millau, France was officially opened. The Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the River Tarn, near Millau in southern France. Designed by the French structural engineer, Michel Virlogeux; and British architect, Norman Foster, it is the tallest bridge in the world with one mast’s summit at 343.0 metres (1,125 ft) above the base of the structure.
December 14, 1918 President of Portugal, Sidónio Pais, was assassinated. Sidónio Bernardino Cardoso da Silva Pais (May 1, 1872 – December 14, 1918) was a Portuguese politician and diplomat, the fourth President in 1918. He was known as the President-King. He escaped a first assassination attempt, but was shot on December 14, 1918 by President Jonathan José Júlio da Costa, at Rossio railway station, in Lisbon, when he was preparing to board a train to Porto to hold discussions with the monarchist leaders of the Northern Military Juntas.
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Friday, December 14, 2012
A walk well walked HANNATU MUSAWA
elson Mandela is ageing and his “spirit and sparkle” is fading, his wife has said. Information available has it that the South Africa’s former president is suffering from a recurring lung infection and has been hospitalized. Millions all over the world yet again hold their breath at the news that the Madiba, one of the greatest moral and political international heroes of our time, is ill and fighting for his life. Mandela feels more like a father than a famous figure to the likes of myself, who for the duration of our lives, recognise him as the central persona in one of the most gripping and moving political dramas in the world. His story has been one of strife, great effort, obstacle, new hope, and the ultimate achievement. And even in the midst of his darkest days, he demonstrated with vigour, the task of a great leader by leading his country from the shallow hole it was in to the elevated height of freedom. He did this with the spirit of a saint and a perception of strength, bravery, generosity, courage and forgiveness. He is a true freedom fighter whose love for his people has no end and whose
life and personal success will be remembered long after the world has forgotten the evils of the oppression that once engulfed his people. He is a star who has brightened the lives of many and set the ultimate example for all leaders in Africa because he is one with no compromise for self interest, but of focusing on what is good for his nation. The radiance of his personality has touched the lives of many over the years and we hope to continue drinking from his river of humanity as we pray he pulls through. In a role seldom witnessed in Africa, he selflessly dedicated his life to fight against one of the most powerful systems of oppression ever conceived, and he today stands as a decisive testimony for the victory of nobility and hope over desolation and odium, of forgiveness and love over revenge and hate. His life personifies what true patriots should do and how they should behave under the most trying of circumstances. The spirits of all the revolutionaries and freedom fighters of this world, past and present, surely would smile blessings upon him because he always stood fair against all kinds of domination and was willing to give his life for it. Mandela once said, “I have fought against white domination and against
HIS STORY HAS BEEN ONE OF STRIFE, GREAT EFFORT, OBSTACLE, NEW HOPE, AND THE ULTIMATE ACHIEVEMENT black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a free society in which all live together in harmony, with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”. Growing up in South Africa as a young black boy in the first half of the last century must have been a real ordeal as a result of the apartheid system of government in operation. Blacks were segregated, abused, persecuted and treated little better than animals. But despite such adversity, Mandela, from a young age, was always the fighter. Instead of accepting this unreasonable system of government, he made the decision to resist it, and thus began his lifelong journey to free South Africa from the shackles of repression. Little did he know that his resolve back then
would lead to the demise of apartheid, the road to the presidency and the ultimate honour of a Nobel peace award. Today, thanks to the personal effort and sacrifice of men like him, South Africa is a free state with equal opportunities for all its citizens. Of all his sacrifices the most heart wrenching is, without a doubt, the sacrifice of his private life and youth for his people and beliefs. I once read an interview with one of his daughters in which she described the solitary of growing up with a father that was incarcerated and branded by the government, and the loneliness of having to share him with the whole of South Africa upon his release. But even before his incarceration, Mandela was forced to live apart from his family. In an attempt to survive and evade the authorities, he moved from place to place and adopted a number of camouflages such as that of a labourer or driver. He became so good at avoiding the authorities that were stationed in every nook and cranny that at a point he was labelled the ‘black pimpernel’. To be continued Musawa, a lawyer, lecturer, columnist and human and women’s rights activist, lives in London
Urhoboland and associated problems of primogeniture BOBSON GBINIJE
he practice of primogeniture normally creates problem for the eldest son of a typical Urhobo family, who, weighed down by his status and the accompanying legacies, ends up a failure. He cannot project beyond his immediate setting, lacks education, wisdom, courage, shrewdness and vulpine temperaments. In such a scenario, will an honourable father allow such a son to take over his legacy because of tradition? Some may argue that tradition is tradition and must be upheld by all means. But such traditional apologists must take into cognizance the basic principles of family integrity and responsible management of traditional values etc. Primogeniture tradition should not stand when the first son involved is imbecilic! In specific situations where the first son claims to have risen above mundane tradition and voluntarily decides to opt out of family politics and wrangling, thereby derobing himself of titles and properties, will tradition force him against his will? Will legacy hunters in the family grant him rest? Is he consigned to the characteristics of the scrotal sac syndrome of perpetual restlessness and troubles? Yes, so long as he is alive he is a threat to legacy hunters. But if he dies another eldest son emerges and must also be subjected to the same caprices of pathological first son killers. Amongst some renowned Urhobo
OUR COURTS ARE COPIOUSLY REPLETE WITH CASES OVER FAMILY TITLES AND PROPERTIES ETC families enshrined in the temples of polygamy, it is difficult to find their real first sons alive. But if they are alive, they are experiencing hell on earth, as some Urhobo men have neurological compulsion to hate their first sons. They are cantankerously at variance with them and will always work surreptitiously to make them a failure. These assertions are only partially true, there are also very successful first sons in Urhoboland. If an Urhobo man dies without a will, it is axiomatic for his legacies to be ‘scattered’ by his wives, children, brothers, uncles etc. There is always a big fight to cart away his properties. Some even come for his wives. If he dies with a will in place, it is immediately made a subject of legal entropy questioning the authenticity of the will or an uncle or brother may file a case asking to be the administrator of the estate of his brother or father, who has children that are above 50 years old. What a shame! With the rancorous scenario painted above, what then are the ways forward? First, Urhobo fathers, especially the polygamists among them must love, educate and cherish the
development of their children equally. The idea of playing the politics of blackmailing one against the other must stop. The mothers too have a very onerous role to play by taking all the children in the home as their own and not the diabolical manipulations of playing their husbands against the other children. The man must be resolute in applying discipline to all the children without favouring any one. He should prevail on all the children in the house to respect age first, before status, money and certificates. Second, our mothers and elder sisters should not be left out. A reliable, loving and kind wife or mother can also be bestowed as head of the family and administrator of the family estate. She becomes the mother of all the children (oni emo) in the family and not just her biological children. The idea of women or wives being driven from the family compound as soon as the husband dies and stigmatized as witches, is monumentally wicked and ungodly. Third, the struggle over senior sonship is essentially caused by poverty. When a first son is self-sufficient, it will play down the intensity of bitterness generated by quarrels over positions and properties. First sons should understand that the whole idea is to take over responsibilities and not to fight for properties. A worthy first son knows that primogeniture does not mean recklessness and lawlessness. Fourth, fathers should learn to write their wills and if even it is
made a matter of legal tussle, it will give the family a lodestone and plinth on which to act. The eldest son mechanism will not work where greed and wickedness prevails. When a father dies intestate it tends to accentuate the degree of rancour in the family. Fifth, Urhobo communities should work out viable hereditary formulas to guide them in their quest to build monarchical traditional institutions. A system where there is controversy at the death of every monarch does not augur well for the kind of rapprochement that Urhobos are striving to build. This wantonness tapers down to individual families. Our courts are copiously replete with cases over family titles and properties etc. This must stop for it has successfully killed the names of great families. Urhobo traditional jurisprudence makes it unconditionally firm that eldest sons should play some specific roles either at the death of their fathers, their mothers or some rituals at home. But the infusion of the “principle of born againism” has enabled most families skip these traditions. Chief Gbinije, founder of Mandate Against Poverty, wrote from Warri Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com 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, December 14, 2012
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INEC and delist of political parties
T Olabode George and his award
ome Nigerians have lost sense of decency and are so rubbishing the image of the nation in the mud and discounting its moral values. If not, how can anybody or group give the disgraced former National Deputy Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, an award as carried on page 13 of the yesterday edition of your newspaper? Where is this All Africa Students Union and how did the students get the money to pay for a hall in Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Lagos? I hope somebody is not in great frenzy for political rehabilitation and is therefore, throwing money around for that purpose. Africa Leadership Award my foot. Wonders shall never end.
he chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, caught the imagination of Nigerians in the 1990s through his robust activism when he was the National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). He was a thorn in the flesh of the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida. He effectively combined with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to give IBB a tough fight over issues of national importance.
Getting this current plum job of the Chairman of INEC is like icing the cake of a lifelong struggle of a change agent. Since President Goodluck Jonathan brought him in to manage the nation’s electoral affairs and processes, he has been in the eye of the storm. So far, he has discharged his duties commendably well until now. He has made a questionable call in his delisting of 28 political parties; the National Conscience Party has temporarily escaped the hammer because it preemptively actioned the move in the
law court. Why would Jega concern himself with such mundane issue like the number of political parties in the country when even first year students of political science would tell him that Nigeria as a liberal democracy is wont to accommodate as many political parties that seek registration? Getting over 50 political parties on the ballot papers could be the only cause for concern. But this could be managed. The issue of the nation’s unabridged multiparty system was settled in 2002 when the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi took the
then INEC chairman, Dr. Abel Guobadia, to court for attempting to circumscribe the party registration process of the country. The Supreme Court, in its unambiguous ruling, declared that INEC had no such power to deny any intending political party registration. Moreover, Nigerians were enriched in their jurisprudence knowledge when the apex court made a distinction between ‘register with’ and ‘register by’. Political parties are to be registered with INEC and not registered by INEC, we were told! Jega should seek legal
Check the sharp practices at relief camps
Tunde Idrisu, Ibadan, Oyo State
ay, can anybody make any more meaning of the cause Boko Haram is championing? I have come to the conclusion that the militant Islamic sect appears distracted from whatever cause it has set to pursue. Or how do we explain the raid on Government Girls Secondary School, Bama, Borno State in the wee hours of Wednesday, which had five female students slaughtered and three others wounded? I had thought Kwara State
Comrade John Adams Benin City, Edo State
Whose interest do the Reps serve?
Monday Akpan Lagos
he stories of some officials diverting and even selling relief items donated by governments and public spirited agencies is to say the least disheartening. The Federal Government should immediately investigate this inhuman act with a view to identifying and punishing those involved. Nigerian should learn to be their brothers’ keepers and not turn to wolves and shylocks against their fellow human beings, especially in their times of distress. Anyone found to have in any way colluded in diverting the relief items should be severely dealt with.
opinions on the issue and stop acting vacuously. The more the political parties, the merrier would be the electoral actions. What I do not subscribe to is for the state to give subvention to political parties. The proliferation of political parties in the country was due to the subvention they were entitled to. Now that this has stopped, the unserious parties will die naturally. Jega has gained nothing by this current exercise; he has only exposed himself to legal assaults.
SURVIVAL INSTINCT: A child beggar counting money accrued from the day’s begging.
Arrest of Lamido son
read the news of the arrest of the son of Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Aminu, on page 12 of yesterday edition of your esteemed newspaper with delight. According to the story, Aminu, who was on his way to Cairo, Egypt,
through the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, only declared $10, 000 at the counter, but that a further check on him brought out additional $40, 000 he was hiding. Money laundering is the name of the game and it is big man business,
A cause gone awry
was immune to what is going on until I read that some misguided youths in Ilorin Wednesday went to Living Faith Church and torched it after plundering it. The state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has accused the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Profes-
sor Isha’q Oloyede, of complicity. This is a very grave allegation. The security agencies should step in, do a thorough investigation and bring the culprits to book. We should not allow this to fester beyond a point we can no more control. The time has come for all northern Islamic leaders to
Letters to the Editor
any small man caught is a mere courier. Though the age of Aminu is not disclosed, it is easy to fathom how he got the money. And so the stir his arrest was said to have caused in Dutse, Jigawa State capital, is only a feigned surprise, they know what they are doing. This might not be the first time he had emspeak out against this evil, which has no support in the Quran. I see the ongoing insurgency as a senseless development lacking purpose and direction. Something should give to give us northerners back our sense of decency and justice. Enough is enough. Amina Sanni Idah, Kogi State
PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI
barked upon this sinister business. Kudos to the EFCC. Aminu should be prosecuted as promised. When the big men and their children or associates destroy the economy through these unpatriotic activities, it is the poor people that suffer most. Let the anti-corruption agency pursue with the same vigour all the high profile cases of heists in its files. I hope President Goodluck Jonathan will now know why Nigeria will still maintain her unenviable position as one of the world’s most corrupt nations. The press will only report events as they unfold. Samson Udoh Abuja
ederal lawmakers, but if you wish to psyche them up, say ‘distinguished Senators’ or ‘Honourable Reps’. It is all charade or windowing dressing. Many of the federal lawmakers are simply put, very petty. The House of Representatives, in particular, is populated by mean characters. I used to have a lot of respect for Speaker Aminu Tambunwal until he allowed the House under his charge to embark on this anti Arunmah Oteh vendetta. Putting the issue in perspective, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s offence is exposing the chicaneries that go behind the scene in the National Assembly. She exposed corruption, which was never faulted. If the House is fighting a personal war with Oteh, why should the Senate join in the fight? My advice to the upper chamber is to stay clear of this mess. The persecution of Oteh only enhances her status. Many Nigerians think she is doing a good job in SEC. No amount of persecution can change that mindset. Ms Agnes Obi Onitsha, Anambra State
Send your letters or mails to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com or 08056180209, 07033375481 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject letters or photographs. Psuedonyms may be used, but must be clearly marked as such.
Friday, December 14, 2012
MCSN AS THE BOKO HARAM OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
to artistes. The statement called the efforts by MCSN as ‘clearly intended to also create doubt in the minds of music industry stakeholders with respect to the historic distribution of the sum of N100m by COSON at the National Theatre Lagos on December 11, 2012’. With no end in sight over the battle for copyright administration in Nigeria, the typical Nigerian artiste seems to be solely at the receiving end of the struggle as the two principal actors in the copyright war have been locked in a lingering legal battle, defying every attempt to bring about an amicable solution to the imbroglio. Decrying the situation the music
industry has found itself, the Director General of MCSN, Mayo Ayilaran, confirmed to Friday Flavour that the average Nigerian artistes are the ones losing when legal battles over the administration of copyright of their works linger. “Of course, it is the artiste that loses more. In a situation where there are legal tussles, the artistes will be missing out on a lot of things. In fact, when such things happen, pirates benefit more because nobody will have their time again. Owing to the situation on the ground, people, especially foreigners who want to use the works of Nigerian artistes will clearly avoid them, because of
Ayetoro Orin Titun show
Ayakoroma’s Castles in the Air opens in Abuja
joke Music, the Life House and the Knights of the Afrojazz Table this Saturday will host a night of music, comedy and fashion tagged Orin Titun. The event will see in performance internationally acclaimed Afrobeat/Jazz band, Ayetoro led by gifted pianist, Funsho Ogundipe; The Stupid-
Ogundipe at a recent Ayetoro performance
Bots; Dr. Bariyu the ventriloquist; Mendo Hakeem and Zebra Living. Venue is the serene Lagoon side Ember Creek, Ikoyi, Lagos and show starts by 7.00 p.m.
oday, tomorrow and Sunday, Beeta Universal Arts Foundation, producer of Iya Ile and Man Talk, Woman Talk, will produce for the second time, Castles in the Air by Barclays Ayakoroma. Venue is the Amphi Theatre of the Mediterranean Recreation Centre, 1141 Kwame Nkrumah Crescent, Asokoro, Abuja. Show time is 6.00 p.m. daily.
Directed by Israel Eboh, the cast includes: Patrick Diabuah, Inna Erizia, Ikponmwosa Gold, Omololu Sodiya, Bola Edwards, Paul Alumona and Chioma Onwusika. The comedy tells the story of a Muslim couple’s desire for their son, Aminu, to get married, they fail but a relative offers the family a huge amount to sway Aminu.
Carniriv jigs to Shaggy, Kimono, others
evised to celebrate the regions’ rich heritage and buoyant culture, Rivers State’s CARNIRIV
2012 enters its final phase today and tomorrow with spectacular performances lined-up. Grammy Award-win-
ning artist, Shaggy; gospel music sensation, Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa; Ras Kimono and Orits Wiliki are
expected to take the stage tonight and tomorrow at the annual week-long cultural carnival in Port-Harcourt
Deuces, Ciroc Lounge launches
oday, party rockers in Lagos celebrate with Ciroc at the opening of the All New Deuces, a popular exclusive bar and lounge situated in Chase Mall, 19 Ademola Ad-
etokunbo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos Powered by 360 Nobs and Deuces Bar Lounge, the exclusive Ciroc Lounge, designed with blue and white, will also be launched at the
venue. Artistes such as Iyanya will be on hand to make sure the party goes down and doors open by 9.00 p.m.
the controversy on the ground. Definitely Nigerian artistes are the ones groaning as this continues”, Ayilaran said. In view of this, Obi Madubuogwu, a music and movie practitioner, has called on the Nigerian Copyright Commission, NCC, to instantly step in to resolve the matter to save Nigerian artistes the myriads of losses they have been unconsciously encountering as the battle continues. “It is really a sad situation and this is where NCC should come in and use their mandate to bring about an amicable solution. They should do more than regulation in this case. As a music promoter and actor, we cannot count what we are losing from this. What is almost left for some of us is to administer the rights of our artistes, which is not feasible because of the law. What I essentially want the NCC to do in this case is to get the parties to work together for the benefit of Nigerian artistes”.
Copyright war: COSON defies court to share royalties
he ongoing battle between Mayo Ayilaran - led Musical Copyright Society Nigeria, MCSN and Copyright Society of Nigeria, COSON, led by Chief Tony Okoroji, took a dramatic turn with the recent ‘class action’ filed against COSON and six others by MCSN at a Federal High Court in Lagos. Earlier in the week, the court had asked the parties to restrain themselves from taking any further action that would prejudice the hearing of the class action suit. In the ruling, the court, while agreeing to an adjournment till December 20, also reasoned with MCSN’s counsel that ‘it is trite law that once a matter is before the court and parties are aware of the subject matter, parties should restrain from doing anything on the subject matter’. But Friday Flavour gathered that COSON held an elaborate event on Tuesday where royalties, totalling about N100million got distributed to artistes. When our reporter spoke with Chinedu Chukwuji, a general manager with COSON, he confirmed that the event did hold, but said he did not have the mandate to speak about the legal implications. “On whether this contravenes a court action, I do not have the mandate to speak with you about that. I will refer you to the man in charge of communications or legal if you can call me back”, explained Chukwuji. Subsequent efforts to reach him later proved abortive. Earlier, COSON had, in a press release, referred to MCSN as the Boko Haram of the music industry in Nigeria for trying to use litigation to thwart the plan to distribute royalties
16 PAGES OF ARTS, REVIEWS, LIFESTYLE AND BUZZ TO START YOUR WEEKEND
MUSON invokes xmas magic
h e Christm a s Magic!” concert of the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, will take place at the centre’s Agip Recital Hall on Saturday, December 15 beginning
from 5:30 p.m. with a Green Carpet. This year’s edition, the third, is hosted by ArtColony International, an organisation made up of young, socially conscious artistes. It will feature
perfor mances from guest artistes; Yinka Davies, Norman MacLeod and Olufunmi. The concert will also feature performances in classical, contemporary and jazz genres.
VOL. 2 No. 513
Artman In The House
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Two members of the Troupe in a dance routine
I want to see arts take prime Mandated to study Law by his late father despite his love for arts, Barrister Ola-Thompson Tabi dabbled fulltime into theatre performances and productions after his education. This move, though without a formal background in theatre arts, earned him accolades as a writer, actor, producer, director, artiste manager and playwright. In this interview with ADEBIMPE OLATUJA, the Managing Director of Black Image Theatre Production company, talks about his antecedents and reveals the special quality Black Image troupe brings on to each stage appearance. Excerpts: How does your educational background in Law relate to what you do presently? Yes, I read Law at the University level, but arts is what I always wanted to do, where my life is. I started arts right from church. I actually read Law to satisfy the earnest wish of my late father who didn’t make it as a lawyer. He wanted to go to school to read Law but couldn’t, so he ensured that a son of his practice the profession. So, I was the sacrificial lamb. Honestly, all my life, I have always been in the Arts; I love the arts, I love entertainment and I started doing it before I left the university where I had a troupe called Black Image. So I came out of school to be fully involved in Black Image and I’m also doing management of Nigerian artistes. The interesting thing is that now, I want to go back into Law fulltime; I want to go back to the courts. I’d like to do litigations and also learn the business in law. By doing this and with my background in art and entertainment, we can take arts to the next level. With this expressed passion, what is your vision for the arts in Nigeria? I just want to see arts take the prime place in Nigeria. It is only the arts that tells the story of the people, that talks about the culture of the people and it is big all over the world. Secondly, artistes are suffering because there is no proper funding. To put up a stage production is difficult most times partic-
AS A TRAVELLING TROUPE, WE TRY TO BE CAREFUL... TO CONSIDER WHETHER PEOPLE WE TRAVEL WITH WILL RETURN ularly when we don’t get support from funders and sponsorship. But we recognise what some sponsors are doing now by giving more funding to Nigerian artistes. That’s the vision for Nigerian arts and it is the reason some of us are returning to the Law profession to use that to get things rolling for arts in Nigeria. What’s the uniqueness of Black Image Troupe? Black Image is a dynamic troupe. Since we started in 1987 in Bariga-Lagos, we have trained and groomed a whole lot of performers many of whom are scattered all over the world. You can find them in Lagos, London, New York and Asia doing their own thing. An example of such independent performers is someone I call my son, Segun Adefila of Crown Troupe, who started from here and is now doing very well locally and internationally. Similarly, there is Sere Kume in California, USA, who has all white troupe in America called Wazobia. We also
have Kunle Adeniyi, the son of Sunny Ade, who lives in America and owns a troupe there. We have generations of these people all over the world that came out of Black Image. Over the years, we have used this forum to build young people and they also are replicating. I don’t have a background in theatre but I know arts; it’s inside of me. I’m a writer, producer and director. I think outside the box; I don’t do theatre like it’s normally done. I don’t do the usual thing and I think that’s what is giving us an edge. I have made a lot of social comments with my stage productions. Not all of us will be lawyers or doctors or engineers but some of us can address government and the world through Theatre Arts. For me, this is what makes us different. I think we have the key to lock and unlock the hearts of young, potential actors and actresses in this country. Once they come in, they get hooked to what we do. I won’t say it’s very easy but God has been our strength. How does inspiration for your productions come? From God and from what we see around us– what happens in our country and our immediate environment. For example, what we are going to be presenting at the show we have next Friday at NICON hotel, Victoria Garden City in Lagos, came as a brief and it’s now left to us to think through what can move and awe the audience while capturing the essence of the occasion and the yuletide spirit.
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Artman In The House
Friday, December 14, 2012
Tabi and wife, Barrister C.B Tabi.
Members of Black Image Troupe at a rehearsal session (in shirt is Paul)
Tabi (L) with Juju music maestro King Sunny Ade at the 2012 Ekimogun Day (a festival in Ondo State) which the theatre director anchored.
place in Nigeria –Tabi xxxxxx
Born in the late ‘60s, Tabi studied Law at the University of Benin, Edo State and graduated in 1994.
Started in 1987, Black Image, a theatre production company based in Lagos, is led by Tabi (managing director) and Paul Uwagbai (executive director).
Tabi is also the C.E.O of Raindrop PR.
The playwright has written over 10 stage plays and directed numerous stage productions since his days in the university.
Among other artistes, Tabi once managed the career of foremost Nigerian female drummer, Ara.
He is married with sons
What’s the performance schedule like for Black Image? Presently, we have a monthly performance gig at Ember Creek, Ikoyi-Lagos. Black Image is a travelling troupe and we have been to America for shows/ tours a couple of times. We have also been to some states in Nigeria; we have been involved in some product launch of some prominent organisations in Nigeria. We’ve held shows at the MUSON Centre and other prominent stages around the country. The reality is, I can’t lay my hands on a specific prominent show because we have done a whole lot of them. As a travelling troupe, we try to be careful with every step of our arrangements. First, it depends on what our tour promoter can accommodate. Secondly, we have to consider whether people we travel with will return. Every time we travel, we are usually not more than 12 people on our team which means
you won’t see me performing on stage in Nigeria but you will see me on stage in the US. Basically, promoters might not be able to carry a large number of people and we are equally careful about people travelling with us and not coming back. Next year, we would do a bit of travelling and this time, we might not be going with more than seven to eight people –the best on stage and the best character wise. Has Black Image recorded a performance album or planning one soon? We had a performance recording done for us by a promoter in the UK which we did not eventually release; it is composed of some songs. But right now, our focus is to concentrate on dance –ensure the troupe develops greater competence in dance; later, the music will come in. Our current focus is to continually do stage productions and to continually sharpen the skills of Black Image’s performers. What is the update on your proposed first movie project? True, Peace of the Graveyard was our first attempt at making a movie. It was borne out of our desire to make a bold statement about the state of our nation. It’s a youthful cast of about 150. A musical experience with the likes of Yinka Davies, Ego Ogbaro, Nkan Eleduwa, Gbenga Adebija, Helen Sosu and Koffi. Tunde Olatunde played the lead alongside Jasen Blu, a budding artiste. We stopped the project because funding was becoming an issue. We intend to continue in 2013 but maybe with a different story first so as to raise funds for Peace of the Graveyard. Coming from your background as Ara’s former manager, is there any likelihood of you managing other artistes? We are managing a whole lot of young people right now with our company called, Raindrop PR.
We have Jason Blue who sings R’n’B; there’s 18-yearold Jumbo Crazy, who is smashing and dropped an album on Sunday, December 9 and the US-based Prophetess Funke Aladewura, presently in Nigeria to promote her works. By the way, Raindrop PR manages Black Image as well. As a married man, how do you cope with family life and the demands of the job? There is a balance; I have a wonderful wife who is a lawyer and she understands the dynamics of this business and of family life too. While I’m here doing my thing, she is in counsel with the Office of the Defender, Lagos State government. She takes care of the home front while I look for a means of survival.
ive interview with E.M.E crew! s clu In I next week’s edition of Artman in the x E
House, Empire Mates Entertainment, Hou E.M.E, superstar acts - Banky W, Wizkid, Niyola, Skales, DJ Xclusive and Shaydee in a group interview, talk about their laurel-filled year, landmark all-star album, inspirations, women and the upcoming ‘The Baddest Concert’ 2012.
The EME team.
Must read, watch out!
Friday, December 14, 2012
Treading where mortals tremble
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The year 2012 is gradually winding down, but it is not just the Yuletide that engages the attention of Nigerians. Books do, also. A biographical book, coming out of Abuja, is part of those engaging discourse at this critical time. IZUCHUKWU OKEKE
oming out from the staples of Xlibris Publishers, UK, He Dared is a literary, historical output by Abuja based lawyer, Offonmbuk Akpabio. The book is a history on the life and time of a great leader and scion of the Annang people of today’s Akwa Ibom State, Chief Udo Akpabio. The book presents a history that Nigeria political majority takes for granted –that even the minority ethnic groups of Nigeria’s unbalanced political equation also have their own history to contribute to the potpourri of historical discourse, especially in the country’s colonial times. The author’s subject, Udo Akpabio was a man of many parts; a warrior, charismatic leader, successful administrator and businessman. He was the patriarch of one of the largest and most influential family stock in South South Nigeria, the Akpabio of Annang nation. The book traces his life; as a family man and ruler of his people, who used wisdom to manage his relationship with the white man who brought peace, wealth and development to his people. Set in the pre-colonial through to colonial Nigeria, the book is a story of immense historical research; of a man who braved all odds to turn the fortunes of his people, and within the cracks of religion and primitivism was able to give his people a breakthrough in western education. Indeed, it is not only Chief Akpabio who dared:
IT IS NOT ONLY AKPABIO WHO
DARED: THE AUTHOR DID TOO,
BY PRESENTING TO THE WORLD ANOTHER
the author did too, by taking the bull by the horn in presenting to the world another African hero of the colonial era. Offonmbuk was bold in her choice of subject matter and her language of presenting Udo Akpabio to the world was subtly panegyric and yet, utterly candid. The immensity of research, along with photographic evidences proves how painstakingly she went about the book project. Some may argue that the author has not done anything particular in making the style tilt more to the literary than historical, but every reader will acquiesce that in this lies the strength of the book. The narrative, punchy with building crisis culminating into the death of Udo Akpabio, draws the reader’s curiosity till the end. The book, according to the author, is due for launching on December 20. But the buzz around it is already whetting reading appetite among literary circles. Suddenly, a new hero is emerging in historical factional narrative and everybody wants to read about him.
A scene from the movie
Skeletons in their closet In the Cupboard is the latest film from the prolific and high-profile team at the Royal Arts Academy whose stable has gifted us with Bursting out, Kiss & Tell and Holding Hope in recent times. It stars Ini Edo, Uti Nwachukwu (of Big Brother Africa fame) and Alex Ekubo. WILFRED OKICHE
roducers of In the Cupboard must have counted on the chance that the glossy cast, along with the not-sosubtle title and sleek packaging would grab the attention of every virile person out there. But like a double-edged sword, it is perhaps for these same reasons that some folks may find themselves reluctant to see this film. While at least two of the aforementioned headliners are superstars in their own right, each of their respective earlier outings at the cinemas this year has left a lot to be desired. Ini Edo’s I’ll take my chances was more fiz-
Queen Amina ‘resurrects’ in Abuja Once again, Abuja theatre audience got a treat of live theatre when the Jos Repertory Theatre (JRT), stormed the city with another series of performances. This time, the legend of Queen Amina of Zazzau was on show and, for three days, the audience was thrilled with dazzling performances of the epic tragedy. IZUCHUKWU O KEKE
he play opened on Thursday, November 29 and ran through to Saturday, December 1 at the Merit House, Maitama. The audience kept coming; an indication of the success of the performances. The story is strong; the version of the tragedy of Queen Amina of Zazzau, as told in drama by late Wale Ogunyemi. Dateline 1588: Amina is born to Bakwa Turunku the queen mother of Zazzau Kingdom. Amina grows into a beautiful young woman but refuses to marry despite many eligble men showering her with attention and gifts. Being heir apparent to the throne, she is afraid she will lose power if marries. All efforts to persuade her to marry eventually fall on deaf ear. She seeks the priest of Zazzau in-
THE STAGE CANNOT TELL ALL OF THE ORAL AND WRITTEN HISTORY OF ENIGMATIC
AMINA...JRT SHOWED GREAT EFFORT stead and requests to be admitted into the ‘Bori Cult’. There, at initiation, her destiny is told her which states that her weakness will be men and her doom will come if any man shares her bed and lives to sleep with another woman. Amina is soon crowned queen of Zazzau and leads her kingdom on a conquest of the neighbouring lands, as far as Nupe land to the South of Niger. After her conquest, she returns to rule her expansive kingdom commissioning projects aimed at
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Friday, December 14, 2012
DESMOND ELLIOT UNDERSTANDS HIS AUDIENCE AND HAS PERFECTED THE ART OF MAKING THE GET-LOST-IN-
FEEL-GOOD MOVIE WE ALL LOVE TO HATE zle than sizzle and we are still trying to pretend True Citizens starring Uti Nwachukwu and Alex Ekubo never happened. Still, we’ll take our chances with this one. The aristocratic and fabulously wealthy De Souza family comprising of mother (Biola Segun-Williams) and her five children has just lost its patriarch; only you would never guess it. Not from the way the soignée widow is always perfectly coiffed and definitely not from her bratty offspring’s endless bickering. We are introduced to the clan as they gather primarily for the reading of the will and secondarily to bury their late patriarch and it doesn’t take long to pick up on the following: mommy knows things she isn’t telling; much-married alcoholic Tricia (Edo) is a closeted lesbian and brothers Tega (Ekubo) and Nwachukwu’s character have unresolved issues bordering on full blown enmity. Add to this quirky mix the son suffering from foot-in-the-mouth disease, the daughter who has an unhealthy obsession with her camcorder and the stage is set to unpeel layer after layer of juicy scandalous detail. Produced by former starlet Caroline Danjuma and directed by Desmond Elliot, both working from a script by Kehinde Olorunyomi, In the Cupboard sure has its bright spots. It starts out hurriedly and moves at a fun, zippy pace boosted by campy performances from its ensemble cast. Uti Nwachukwu is not anyone’s favourite actor around but he discharges himself suitably as the heir to the De Souza family jewels. Quiet, dignified and filled with a slowburning rage, he envelops smugly into the role. Problem is the screenplay has no room for subtlety and every time he is made to raise his voice unnecessarily (and this happens one too many times), it defeats his genuine attempts at credibility.
Tragedy of Queen Amina
making the lives of the people better. But while her rule is admired all over the kingdom, her quest for men continues with the attendant rumour of the fate of such men who share her bed. All such men she puts to death by giving them wine laced with poison. This state of affair continues until it is the turn of Aliyu, one of the great soldiers of Zazzau. Amina’s most trusted maid, Mairo is in love with Aliyu and would not see him die. Mairo not only intimates Aliyu with the consequences of Amina’s invitation to her bedchamber but gives him the antidote that makes him survive the poison and only after surrendered her virginity to him. The knowledge that Aliyu survived drives Amina
Ini Edo pulls off her routine vapid act with no serious attempts at scratching the surface of her character, although in this case, the fault is as much hers as it is the director and the screenwriter’s. Ghanaian Lydia Forson is a big bore, so is the Sierra Leonean Morris Sesay and Susan Peters shows up too briefly to matter. This leaves room for the newbie, Tessy Abubakar who plays the baby of the house. Armed with her ever present camera and a resolute, child-like belief in people, her beguiling presence not only provides the genuine comic moments of the picture, but is also the apple core of a crowded room of outlandish performers. Then there is the terrible. Ginnefine Kanu, the starlet who plays Nkiru, (the ‘hottie’ that comes between two of the brothers with a vengeance) is so bad she manages to turn her huge, pivotal scene into a terrible parody, begging the question, how in Nollywood was she cast? Other random questions that come to mind as the film progresses include; would Biola Segun-Williams’ eyeballs pop out of their sockets if she dilates them any further? Why is her arm bandaged in one scene and in the next, she is not even sporting a scar? Does the director believe that shaking the camera violently will simulate on-screen action? What is the point of the sub-plot with the other two sisters? Why is Nwachukwu’s costuming so shoddy? In the last but one scene, did Ekubo’s character change his shirt while the others waited before going in to see mum? Why was there not one sex scene? Why is someone yelling ‘quiet’ at every other turn? Someone please remind us, how was the Nkiru character cast? Questions, questions, questions Alas, these are questions Mr. Elliot has no intentions of answering. He understands his audience and has perfected the art of making the get-lost-in-feel-good movie we all love to hate. Folks looking for award-baiting fare might have to wait for the next Kunle Afolayan film. But for those in search of escapist, undemanding, unchallenging viewing pleasure, by all means, do check this one out. Just be sure to leave grey matter at the concession stands. Culled from 360nobs.com Editors’ note: since its release in August, In the Cupboard has received five awards namely: Best Drama, Best Original Story, Best New Actor and Best Supporting Actress at the 2012 GIAMA Awards, USA. It also won the Most Promising Actor at the 2012 Best of Nollywood Awards.
to nuts and her learning of Mairo’s affair with him brings her to knowledge that fate has conspired against her. Amina chooses the only option left to her: to ride in pursuit of Aliyu, as far as Atagara to the south end of Zauzzau boundary. She fails to find Aliyu and also meets her end in the process. Indeed, the stage cannot tell all of the oral and written history of this enigmatic woman leader and warrior. Like the tremendous growth of commerce and economy in cities she conquered or innovative developments such as the use of iron coat armour adopted by her soldiers in military campaigns. Even her military conquests may not fully feature. But JRT’s performances for the three nights showed top effort by cast and crew. The third night’s performance started on a slow note. The cast for Queen Amina kept it late to come into character, same with the Priest. But once the conflict was set, everything seemed to explode into one line of action. Eventually as the crisis built to a climax, viewers had ‘their hearts in their mouths’ and as it ended, the audience erupted in a standing ovation. Even in her tragedy, Amina eventually become the hero of the evening. The performance was total theatre; with music, dance and drama. One can criticise the slow start— it could have been better—but it cannot be denied that the JRT team deserve accolades for another invigorating performance.
Korea on the big screen
The embassy of the Republic of Korea, Abuja, gathered film lovers to the third in the series of its annual Korean Film Festival which opened at the Silverbird Entertainment Centre on Tuesday, November 27 and ran till Friday, November 30. The films shown were refreshing viewing experiences. JERRY ADESEWO
he Korean Film Festival offers another opportunity for Nigerians and nationals of other countries, mostly diplomats resident in Abuja, to catch a glimpse of the rich life and culture of this friendly Asian nation through its screen production. The screening began after the opening ceremony and ran till closing day with each of the four selected films showing twice on each day. On the first night was Barefoot Dream, a pulsating sports drama. In the opening of the film, Wonkang, a former soccer prospect whose life did not turn out promising heads to East Timor thinking there would be plenty of opportunities for him. But the country coming out of recent invasion and war with Indonesia is arid. Wonkang, however, sees kids playing soccer on bare feet and thinking he can score selling soccer shoes opens a sports equipment store. Soon, he realises that none of the kids can pay for fancy shoes and jerseys. He creates an idea of thrift payment and it also fails. But something cannot fail– his connection with the kids and the lofty dream of taking these poverty-stricken kids to an international friendly in Hiroshima, Japan. The film shows how a small wayward project becomes the hope of a whole nation, recementing the social fissures of the aftermath of a fratricidal war. Like a Virgin, the second film, features short and overweight, Oh Dong-gu who believes he is female. He dreams of becoming the perfect lady someday, so devotes himself to mimicking American songstress, Madonna. But he needs money for his transsexual surgery and to do this, he has to enter a wrestling competition. In Scandal Makers, Nam Hyun-soo who was once an idol star and worshipped like a god, hosts a show which is highly rated on radio. One day, single mum, Jungnam sends in a story on his show telling of her lost father. Jung-nam’s story grips the nation and catapults the rating of Hyun-soo programme to the most popular. But soon, Hyun-soo has to contend with Jung-nam who invades his home and radio station with claims that Hyun-soo is the father she seeks. Hyun does what he can to salvage his celebrity image. The setting for Detective K: Secret of Virtuous Widow, is in 16th century Korea. King Jeong-jos rules in the capital Joseon. High profile murders have been taking place in the city of recent. King suspects the murders are part of a cover up of embezzlement scandal involving some high officials. He hires famous detective, Kim Jin, to solve the case for him. Detective K is nearly murdered even before he gets started. He narrowly escapes and with the help of dog seller, Seo Pil, the two leave Jeosong to find Wolfsbane a flower that holds key to the case. They arrive in Jeokseong where they meet beautiful business magnate, Han who seems to hold far more secrets than she first appears to have. The four films are comedy with high production quality and the themes well thought out and excellently interpreted. It is likely that some Nigerian fans will begin to look the direction of Korean films.
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Yuletide fever grips Abuja MARCUS FATUNMOLE
ew days from now, various routes leading into the nation’s capital will be busy with residents leaving the city in droves. That is the time of the year when the world is enthralled with Yuletide celebrations. At this season in Abuja, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport literally metamorphoses into a huge market where intending travellers compete for hiked tickets. While air fares snowball, residents who travel by road are compelled to pay over 100 per cent of what was obtainable before ‘Christmas rush’. Abuja is a green ‘pasture’ where many come for ‘grazing’ at the dawn of a new year and return to their home base at the end of the year. To meet the demand of this period, residents devise various means to have befitting celebrations. Some of these plans include using the children who are on seasonal holiday to hawk various items such as sachet water, confectioneries and household items in order to rake in money for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. More young men and women also seem to be engaged in income-generating activities to meet the pressure of this period. In an interview with our reporter, a fashion designer, Rashidat Sheriff, said “I have not been sleeping since the beginning of this month. It was last Saturday that I stopped accepting cloths from people because there is no way I will sew all of them within the next few days. Even with about five apprentices, it will be difficult for all of us to finish all of them”. Investigations carried out by Inside FCT revealed that the middle-class and less-privileged residents
are now disposed to buying fairly-used materials either for personal use or to be presented as gifts to relatives–a consequence of economic hardship across the land. Speaking with our reporter at the Wuse road-side market, a resident, Margret Edward, noted that, “It is better to get something than nothing; I have so many people expecting gifts from me when I get to the village. Since I do not have the wherewithal to buy new gifts, they will have to make do with these”. She continued, “Last year, I did not travel because it was difficult to even get money to prepare food on Christmas for myself alone. I have made up my mind this year to see my parents and siblings at home, they will manage whatever I bring as gifts. As you know, if anyone leaves the village, the people there always believe that such a person is sharing the national cake with the government”, she added as she selected some second-hand wears at incredibly cheap prices. Currently, most markets in Abuja are crammed with used materials. For instance, trading of second-hand materials at the Women Centre, located opposite the Central Bank of Nigerian Headquarter, Abuja, has been on the increase since some structures within the institution were allocated to persons who deal in this form of trade earlier this year. Items sold in this market include clothing, shoes and bags among others. Also, the famous Wuse Market is gradually being invaded by roadside traders around the market. “Very few people ‘waste’ their time going into that choked-up place”, said Mohammed Isa, who spoke with our reporter at the road-side market. “I prefer buying my things here at very cheap prices. Though some of the things sold here are fairly-used materials, the prices cannot compare to what I will pay
Traders making brisk sale at the Wuse road-side market, on Wednesday.
YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN SEEM TO BE ENGAGED IN INCOMEGENERATING ACTIVITIES TO MEET THE PRESSURE OF THIS PERIOD when I buy new ones from inside”, he stressed. Like the exposition on times found in the Bible book of Ecclesiastics, the yuletide season repre-
FCT residents moan as dry season sets in
Harmattan fog covers the sky over sections of Abuja
or residents of Abuja, there is palpable discomfort as the hot, dry weather sets in without prompting from the nation’s meteorologists. The dry season, from October to March, is an annual period of low rainfall in the tropical belt in the Southern
hemispheres because the temperature is always high. So, Abuja is experiencing a season in which rainfall is rare and days are sunny throughout. In this dry period characterised by low humidity, the evidence of an increase in outbreak of diseases associated with the weather draws attention to the interplay between climate factors, human susceptibility and adaptation measures that can ease these burdens.
Abuja residents are feeling the pinch of the high temperature, which is put at about 36 degrees Celsius, occasioned by this extreme weather condition. The negative impact of this season has begun to show on the people, particularly children. Inside FCT gathered that the advent of the dry season coincides with a rise in airborne diseases the cases of measles, heat stroke, meningitis skin rashes and host of others airborne diseases. Some residents interviewed by our reporter described the weather change as part of the effects of global warming, fuelled by the activities of man on his environment. Mr. Azeez Hassan, a staff at Federal Ministry of Environment, Abuja, said; “I think our activities –both natural and artificial are the causes of this kind of hasty change in climate condition. Less than two months ago we had flooding in part of the country. Today, the weather is so hot and harsh; this is due to human activities, emission coming from industries during production and cutting down of trees”. A resident of Mpape area of the FCT, Mrs. Deborah Akanbi, explained that the heat, combined with power failure has made “sleeping at night so difficult. Our electricity transformer has been down for more than one month now, power supply is epileptic and we cannot use our appliances”. She appealed to staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), to come to their aid so that they can use electric fan at night while sleeping. Similarly, Mr. John Jika, who works with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), said; “This is the period I don’t enjoy personally because the nature of my work is to move round to make sure Abuja is clean and orderly. In fact, this hot weather is seriously affecting me and my entire family; especially my children”.
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Friday, December 14, 2012
Magicians, snake charmers explore festive ambience TOLA AKINMUTIMI
sents a time for merriment and depression, time to be loved and jilted, time to gain and lose and time to gather and disperse. For lovers in the city at this time, many choose to part. Parents, while thanking God for success through the year, ponder over parenting responsibilities which include feeding, accommodation, clothing, education and general wellbeing of their wards. Ministries and parastatals put some forms of palliative in place for staff at this season by initiating bulk purchase of some household commodities to enhance a memorable feasting.
WE SHOULD DO THINGS THAT WILL MAKE OUR ENVIRONMENT MORE HABITABLE LIKE PLANTING TREES INSTEAD OF CUTTING THEM Jika explained that the period usually exposes his family to all kind of sickness that prompts him to spend a large percentage of his income on the children’s health. “The children suffer from diseases like measles, internal heat and all sorts that always disturb the family. The season is a time in which your entire body system will definitely change”, he stated. Also expressing concern over the dry season, Ene Obayojie, a food seller, lamented that the harsh weather affects the wellbeing of people in the society. Specifically, she noted that her skin dries up since she doesn’t have access to fruits that nourish unlike in the rainy season when fruits and other vegetables are abundant in major markets of the FCT. Engr. Samuel Udoh, a site engineer of Akinsanmi Estate Management firm and resident of Wuse Zone 3, observed that the environment was becoming hotter than it should be; voicing his fear that, “these things are due to the negative activities of man on his environment; we should learn how to be friendlier to our environment. “We should forsake activities that endanger our environment and do things that will make our environment more habitable like planting trees instead of cutting them down”. Meanwhile, many residents have appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to provide constant electricity to cushion the effects of the heat.
or many spiritualists and business owners, the yuletide season is usually a period when unfulfilled expectations the outgoing year are pushed forward for divine manifestations of prophesies and entrepreneurial business projections. Many hinged their faith on what God has said in the scriptures that, ‘He will crown the year with goodness’. Therefore, the Christmas season is a period when aggressive marketing and spiritual ablution are pushed to seemingly inelastic ends to get what is desired. For traders and other residents with anything to showcase for money in the FCT, the season is coming with an eclectic and artistic display of guts in order to make quick money as patronage gets more sizzling. In the midst of this atmosphere of booming trading and haggling, voodoo priests and snake charmers are not left out as they also cash in on the situation. From Wuse to Area 1 and other areas with high human traffic, these group of ‘spiritual traders’ are displaying healing and deliverance capabilities with thousands of fortune-seeking residents struggling to experience the miraculous hands of the ubiquitous ‘traders’ Last Tuesday, when Inside FCT visited Wuse Zone 5 area where the voodoo priests have found to be rewarding for ‘business outlet’, scores of residents – mainly young and seemingly jobless, milled around as the priests engaged them in deceptive moneymaking antics. They usually profess to be healers of all forms of diseases and harbingers of riches and good fortune. One of the voodoo leaders, who accosted our correspondent while taking pictures of the circus-like show of uncommon spiritual powers to heal, deliver and make rich, said the ‘business’ has been on for several years and that the Christmas season offered the best of times to assist the needy who are searching for solutions to their age-long problems. “We have been doing this for many years in Abuja, Benue, Plateau and even places like Lagos. We are spiritual people trying to help other people and government is aware of what we do, that is why the Police is not disturbing us. As you can see, that boy (pointing to a young man stooping in their encircled deliverance ground) is being delivered. You may not
‘Spiritualists’ carry on a ritual as people gather to watch in Abuja.
THAT BOY IS BEING DELIVERED...SOME WITCHES HAVE DESTROYED HIS LIFE BUT TODAY, HE WILL BE DELIVERED see it but some witches have destroyed his life but today, he will be delivered. “We are also helping people to make them sell because everything in life is determined by some things we cannot see with ordinary eyes. So, we go spiritual to help the traders to see what they cannot see. Last year, we helped one woman in Yanyan to change what she was selling and we told her to be selling pepper and tomatoes. She is now doing better and she thanked us for the help”, he said. On the role of the snake they display whenever they are performing the ‘miracles’ for the largely hypnotised, gullible customers, he explained that, “it is the symbol of the god we serve and without it, we cannot go anywhere”. In response to enquiries why he was watching the occultic display, a young school leaver, Daniel, who was amongst the army of spectators and potential fortune seekers told Inside FCT that he was just “watching to enjoy what they are doing but I don’t believe they are real”. According to him, he had witnessed about six people who claimed to have experienced some feeling of supernatural sensation after entering the circle, adding that, “I don’t think I will ever enter the place. Even a woman said she had been healed of her body pains as soon as the man touched her but whether that is true or not is what I don’t know. Some of us join them to pass time and enjoy the excitement. That is all”, Daniel said. Although these voodoo priests do not charge spectators any amount for watching their game of deceit, some people claim that in addition to money they make from gullible people who believe in their deliverance power. It is rumoured that the magicians have agents who infiltrate the rank of hypnotised spectators to steal valuables such as phones and money because guards are down as people enjoy the amusements that trail the acrobatic sessions of signs and wonders.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Glam, glitz at Mode Men Awards
2Face performing at Mode Men Awards
Full list of winners Man of the Year
Woman of the Year
Maryanne Udo-Okonjo (CEO, Fine & Country)
Business Man of the Year
Dr. Ernest Azudialu
Governor of the Year
Governor Godswill Akpabio
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Uche Nnaji of OUCH
he fifth edition of the Men of the Year Awards organised by **Mode Men** Magazine and supported by Johnnie Walker held last Saturday amid glamour and glitz with 15 men recognised for their remarkable achievements. Guests gathered at the Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos, were also thrilled by performances from “2face Idibia, Kola Soul and Capital F.E.M.I. Editor-in-Chief of **Mode Men** magazine, Mr. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, said that recognition and celebration of laudable efforts will always drive people to do more and aim for higher heights. Managing Director and Chief Executive, Guinness Nigeria Plc., Mr. Seni Adetu, said Johnnie Walker and Mode Men have a lot in common. “Respect is being shown to men who are committed to a cause – the celebration of their achievements so far is to encourage them further in the journey of achievements”, he stated. “As we salute these distinguished men, the onus is on the rest of us to follow the Johnnie Walker dictum, which is to keep walking and to keep striving because only the dedicated, relentless and daring become achievers who break
Actor of the Year
TV Personality of the Year
Radio Personality of the Year
Luxury Brand of the Year
Young Designer of the Year
Most Stylish Man of the Year
Sports Personality of the Year
Musician of the Year
YoungGodis Humanitarian of the Year Igho Sanomi II of Taleveras Comedian of the Year
Jason Njoku, founder of iROKO TV, clinched the coveted “The Striding Man” award, (sponsored by Johnnie Walker) by virtue of his approach to life’s many challenges. new grounds and open doors for others to walk through”. Among the guests were Dr. Newton Jibunoh, Udo Maryanne Okonjo, as well as the who-iswho of TV, radio, comedy, movies, fashion and entertainment. Two new variants in the Johnnie Walker family: Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve and Johnnie Walker Platinum Label were introduced at the event.
Four play, 9ice, others sizzle at Jazz series
ast weekend, Etisalat in partnership with Lagos Jazz Series treated jazz lovers to a night of eclectic performances by ‘Fourplay’, renowned contemporary jazz quartet from the United States, as well as popular Nigerian artiste, 9ice, at the waterfront of the Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island. The event, held on the second day of the Lagos Jazz Series at “The Etisalat Stage”, had performances by acclaimed masters of jazz, ‘Fourplay’ featuring the two-time Grammy Award winning artist Bob James, Nathan East, Chuck Loeb and Harvey Mason. Opening act for the night was Nigerian Idol Season 2 first runner-up, Stephen Onochie who set the mood by performing Jazz classics by Louis Armstrong and Nat King.
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In what was themed ‘Under the Influence of Jazz’, top Nigerian artiste 9ice rendered jazz versions of his hit songs put together by well versed producer, Cobhams Asuquo before a gripping performance from Ghanaian singer Becca. Speaking at the event, Chairman, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Hakeem Bello Osagie, said it was refreshing to have Etisalat come on board the third edition of the Lagos Jazz Series, noting that it has become an event aficionados of jazz look forward to each year. “We are happy to be a part of an event that celebrates the versatility of music and we hope that this will be the third of many jazz episodes to come”, he said. The Jazz series which is currently the biggest Jazz music festival in Nige-
ria started in 2010 and is organised annually by the Lagos Jazz Series Group.
9ice on stage at the Jazz series
Freed prison inmate releases album for Nigeria KENNY ODUNUKAN
n what may be termed ‘talent without walls’, Mr. Babatunde Tokunbo Adebayo, 23, an accused armed robber in the Ikoyi Prison, Lagos, released a music album titled “Be Cool Unity” to call for unity and peace against the backdrop of Boko Haram mayhem in the country. Adebayo, who has been in the prison since 2011, was listed among the 46 prison inmates granted freedom on Tuesday from Ikoyi Prison by the Lagos State Chief Judge, Justice Ayotunde Phillips. Speaking with our correspondent, he said; “I felt there is a need to contribute my quota through my talent for the unity and peace of this nation. That was the reason I released this album regardless the situation that we are in presently”. Adebayo, while celebrating his freedom, said the album has four different tracks dedicated and designed to unite all Nigerians. “I never expected this amnesty but I really appreciate the Chief Justice of Lagos for the initiative”, he said. With this gesture by Lagos Chief Judge, the Ikoyi release brought to 279 the number of awaiting trials inmates so far set free by the Lagos Chief Judge, Justice Phillips. Previously, however, a total of 233 awaiting trials had earlier been granted freedom by the state chief judge on September 2012 during her maiden visit to Kirikiri Maximum and Medium Prisons. Justice Phillips told those who regained their freedom that the gesture was in fulfilment of the promise she made during her visit to Kirikiri to visit prisons more frequently.
LBHF unveils 2013 kid’s art contest LINUS KINGDOM
Organisers with two of the children from the previous competition
agos Black Heritage Festival, LBHF, has unveiled the programme for the second edition of “Vision of the Child 2013 Painting Contest” at a press conference held Thursday, December 6 at the Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos. According to Foluke Michael, LBHF Secretary, the 2013 Painting Contest intends to build on the success of the last and is exclusively sponsored by Diamond Bank Plc. The age group has been widened to 8 to 12 years in order to accommodate more participants and plans to stretch the contestants’ imagination, even as it focuses on their observation powers and perception of the society they live in. “This year, the theme will be kept secret until
January 31, 2013. Beyond that however, the procedure remains the same. There will be selection rounds by Festival art scouts who will visit schools and other informal settings in the Lagos environs for potential talent. From the results, they will invite the successful entrants, accompanied by their teachers and parents/guardians to Freedom Park”, she said. The successful students will be provided with canvas, brush and easels and set ti work. They are free to interpret and express the theme according to their individual vision and artistic inclinations. “However, the prize for 2013 will spring a surprise designed to encourage future contestants in the re-formulation of the knowledge of their own world”, Foluke says. The Festival’s talent scouts are also empowered to enter potential non-schooling talent for the event.
Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 1, 1434AH Friday, December 14, 2012
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Call to Worship
On the authority of Anas bin Malik, the servant of the Messenger of All, the prophet said: “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” RELATED BY BUKHARI AND MUSLIM
Behold Abu Dhabi’s grandeur mosque
his architectural work of art is one the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 41,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing twelve tonnes. Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty. The striking white and gold colours shining in the sun are transformed at night by a unique lightning system which reflects the phases of the moon. Visitors’ Tip: Why not finish sight-seeing or shopping for the day and take the 5pm ‘Sunset Tour’? Get to the mosque around 4:30pm – a wonderful time to take photos – to wind down and chill out for 20 minutes in the lovely, afternoon breeze before the tour. Unlike other mosques in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning, which is for worshippers only. Complimentary one hour guided tours run (Sun-Thurs) at 10am, 11am and 4.30 / 5pm. Friday times are 5pm and 7.30 /8pm and Saturday 10am, 11am, 2pm, 4.30 /5pm and 7.30 / 8pm. The times for the last two tours of the day vary between 4.30 and 5pm, and 7.30 and 8pm, depending on the time of the year. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, the mosque is open daily, except Friday from 9am to 12pm (midday), and the one-hour complimentary tours start at 10am and 11am.
ZAKAT IS 2.5% OF YOUR TOTAL WEALTH KNOWN AS NISAB AFTER HAVING FULFILLED ALL OBLIGATIONS, PAY YOUR ZAKAT
Menace of the Screens 28
Abu Dhabi grandeur mosque
Essential of Muharram (2) Every Friday with
CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK
t is written that he was returning from a trade trip and had not yet reached Makkah when along the way he met a man and asked him for any latest news. The man said there was no latest news other than that his friend had claimed Prophethood. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with
Muslims must believe in all Prophets 28
him) said on the spot that if he had made such a claim, it would be truthful.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also stated: ‘Hadhrat Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) gave all his property in the way of God and assumed a destitute life for himself. But what did Allah the Exalted grant him for this? He made him the king
of entire Arabia and gave Islam a new lease of life through his hand and demonstrated triumph over apostate Arab and conferred on him what was beyond anyone’s imagination.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated about HadhratUmer (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘Do you realise how high is the stature of HadhratUmer (may Allah be pleased with him) among the Companions? So much so that at times, Qur’an used to be revealed in accordance with his viewpoint. A Hadith states about him that Satan runs from the shadow of Umer. Another Hadith states: ‘If there was to be a Prophet after me, it would have been Umer.’ Third Hadith is: ‘There were Muhaddath (recipient of Divine revelation) in earlier people. If there is any Muhaddath in this Ummah, it is Umer.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also stated: ‘Umer (may Allah be pleased with him) CONTINUED ON PAGE 30
Proper childrearing is a divine duty 28
Call to Worship
he world today is moving very fast in technology and in transgression. Man remains the custodian of all that are contained in the world. He never creates or invents anything. All that are contained or discovered in the course of time predated his existence. It is only by the will of Allah (SWT), who creates and appoints man as a trustee on the earth that he proceeds to explore the universe to uncover the great wonders of the magnificent Lord in the universes. It is expected that man will avail of all that he discovers to improve his environment, convenience and interrelations with fellow men. So, it is part of Allah’s grand design that man is gradually guided on technological development. No two epochs in human history are exactly the same. Each faces its challenges and conquers them differently. The need in human environment continues to increase for a better life and a faster way. Consequently, by discarding or deliberately neglecting the guidance of Allah (SWT), man begins to rely on his frail mind to unravel the mysteries in the universe and using same accordingly. This has resulted in many worries for man today in the midst
Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 1, 1434AH
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Menace of the Screens YOUR LIFE IS AT STAKE. YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO ENJOY THIS LIFE AND END UP IN HELL of abundant technological breakthroughs and even poverty and diseases in the ocean of wealth. Most of man’s new discoveries that are meant to ensure his wellbeing tend to erode spiritual values. It makes him so forgetful of the essence of life that his life falls at the lowest ebb. His worthy life as an ambassador of the grand Designer of the world to this world has become worthless. Understanding this background of the essence of life and the role of man in this world is the way by which man can enjoy or live a happy life. But these technologies are so designed in such a way that massive campaign or enlightenment are made to distract man from the object of life. Hence, an average man today cannot while alone
live a peaceful life. He destroys his environment and further pollutes it with toxic wastes. He becomes so greedy that he wants to enjoy all things and makes others suffer all misfortunes. His concern is his body and not his soul. Everything in him is devoted to obsession of material enjoyment while his soul is cast in the abyss of emptiness. Thinking about God or ‘acting Godly’ is a taboo in most circles he attends. All entertainments appeal to his animal propensity. There is no bound he cannot break when it comes to enjoying life or feeding the eyes. As a Muslim, you have your life to live. Nobody will live it for you. Your claim will be tested throughout your stay in this world. You must always remember that you are a Muslim before any other thing –work, family, post, etc. You are on trial in this world. The way you live your life is pertinent to your hereafter. The way you relate with people is another major determinant of your success on the last Day. Your life is at stake. You cannot afford to enjoy this life and end up in hell. There-
fore, you need to rethink and re-appraise how your present life is valuable to Allah (SWT). Your life is really for you. Live it in the open and in the secret as Allah’s true ambassador. Be guided and cautioned at all time by the direct watch of your Lord. Do not allow the whispering of Shaytan to turn you into an ignoble and unworthy servant of Allah (SWT). You can control your inclination by obeying the simple rules of Islam. Rise to your Lord and bow to him for mercy and guidance. Your tomorrow is here. It is in what you eat and drink, what you buy and sell, what you say and do, what you wear and tear, what you read and watch, where you go and return, Dr. Zafaran is the Director, Vanguards Academy
Muslims must believe in all Prophets
Proper child-rearing is a divine duty
slam is a religion of peace and it enjoins peaceful co-existence among the different creatures; it teaches mankind to be in peace with the Creator and to be in peace also with one another.
s we all know that a child is a gift from Almighty God. It cannot be found from any human being. To have a child, we must seek for a wife or husband. According to the Holy Qur’an, a fertile soil must bring genuine crops, otherwise it will be opposite. No woman wants to get married to an irresponsible man, as we know that parents are the first teachers of children. The Holy book (Qur’an) let us know that a woman is a soil to plant while the man is the seed. In this case, we must marry according to the word of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W). He said marriage must be proper. Firstly, no sexual intercourse before marriage, permission must be taken from the woman’s parents according to Qur’an chapter 4, all rights must be paid and then, you have to be prayerful for the success of the marriage. When the marriage has been done, there is the expectation of pregnancy. Each time a man wants to meet his wife, prayer must come first, the type of child you want, you tell your God, the creator of the world and it will be granted. Pregnancy must be taken care of till the birth of a baby. When baby comes, the parents should know that the child is just a gift from God and that He wants to test the parents whether they will pass or not. The child must be breast-fed for two years according to Qur’an chapter 4. Father is the provider for the family both feeding, clothing, shoes, schooling; Arabic centre (Ile-kewu) etc. The environment must be conducive for the child according to the capacity of the parent whether you are a rich parent or middleclass parent. In this life, everything is cut your coat according to your cloth. We must teach him/her how to eat, bath, brush, greet gradually at the tender age. Training should be done stage by stage because we can’t teach a 2-year old baby how to prepare food. The child must be trained accordingly. We have three types of training to give a child: Home Training: It starts from 2 years these days. It used to be around 5 or
Sequel to the above, Muslims must avoid utterances that may cause disturbance of peace within the nation. It is disheartening on hearing some Muslims creating divisions among Allah’s Prophets by believing in some prophets only. It must be noted that in order to teach men how to live this life, how to behave with each other, with friends, enemies, parents & children and how to give each man his right and dues, Allah sent a number of Prophets. To every nation, Allah has sent a messenger in order to take them out of darkness to light, to teach them how to live a happy life. It would be recalled that each prophet was opposed and ill-treated by people of his own nation who had wealth and power ; who did not like to change their evil ways; who did not like to give up their injustices and cruelties to the poor people. The Prophets were abused, killed or driven out by their people but they went on doing their work and suffered everything patiently until they succeeded in getting a large number of followers around them. They gave the message of Allah to their followers, taught them how to live and treat other people justly. They further asked them to obey Allah and fear His punishment for evil doing. The prophets were born in different times and among different people. Therefore, they could not adopt the same methods because their people had different customs, habits, languages and manners. They had one thing in common;all of them asked people to believe in Allah and in the life after death and to lead a life of virtue, truth and honesty. The number of these Apostles of Allah is said to be 313 but 25 of them are distinctly mentioned in the Qu’ran
chapter 6, verses 84 – 87; chapter 21, verses 76-95; chapter 69, verses 105, 124,142,161; chapter 177, verses 37-75; chapter 83, verses 112, 114, 123, 133 & 139. The Prophets’ names that were mentioned in the Q’uran are Adam, Nuha, Hud, Salih, Lut, Idris, Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishaq, Yusuf, Yaqub, Shuayb, Musa, Dawud, Sulayman, Yunus, Ayyub, Dhulkifl, Ilyas, Alyasa, Zakariyya, Yahya, Harun, Isa and Mohammed (SAW). A Muslim must believe in all the Prophets of Allah. To believe in some prophets and reject others is regarded as a disbelief. Quran 4, 150 – 151 reads “those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say we believe in some and disbelieve in others and desire to take a course between this and thatthese are truly disbelievers”. In conclusion, Islam as a religion existed before the arrival of Prophet Mohammed (SAW) who happened to be the last of the Prophets. All the Prophets of humanity, right from Ibrahim to Isa, preached Islam; each according to his time. Sheikh Abdul Ganniyy Umar Arikunkewu is the Founder/ National Chief Missioner of Jubatu Rohfatu Llahi Islamic Society Of Nigeria (JUBFAT)
6 years old. Home training starts speaking, greeting, brushing, bathing and how to approach people at home like mother, father, uncles, aunties and the siblings if any. Religious Training: We must train our children Islamically and if you are from a Christian family, your children must be trained accordingly. Islamically, they start attending Arabic centre (Ile-kewu) at the age of 1 year, learning how to perform ablution, observe prayer and reading of the Holy Qur‘an. When you have given your child religious training, he or she will never go on a wrong way. A child that can recite Qur’an and he/she always read it and knows the meaning of what he/she is reading will not misbehave in public and in the family. He/she will fight for heritage no matter how small it is. Even if the child’s parents are rich and wealthy, the child that knows the words of God will not mind it. He/she will prefer to work hard and have his or her properties. Professional Training: It is all about western education. From it, you can become a professor, accountant, teacher, doctor etc. Even vocational training can result in one becoming a mechanic, fashion designer, glass cutter etc. everyone is a professional in its field. If you are educated, there is nothing you can’t do and you will not be a liability to yourself and others. A child must be 40 years old before he/she will be out of parental monitoring or supervision. Therefore, as parents, we have a vital role to play in the lives of our children. This is our duty that we should never joke with. We congratulate our grand patron; HRH, Alhaji Zulu Karinaeni Gambari (The Emir of Ilorin) for the new face given our Ilorin central mosque, Ilorin. Greetings to our matrons: Hajia Muslimot Ajayi Ajibade & hajia Safyat Durodoye. Greetings to all members of Ayatullahi Umath Islamiyat Society of Nigeria. For more counseling, please contact: SHEIKH ABDUL GANIYU ADEBAYO (IGIGANGA) ON 0802-268-7812
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‘Police lack capacity to tame corruption’
he Amir of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of Nigeria, Dr. Moshu’d Fashola has stated that apart from poor working condition, there is a shortage of security personnel to effectively police Nigeria. He decried a situation whereby less than one million security operatives are to maintain peace, order and compliance with the constitution in a country that has estimated population of about
160 million people. He bared his mind during a jumat service; while reacting to the placement of Nigeria as the 35th mostcorrupt nation in the world. It would be recollected that Transparency International rated Nigeria as such in its latest release. Dr. Fashola said that the security operatives do not have sophisticated working equipements and are poorly remunerated and that it will be difficult for them to prosecute
corrupt people without being compromised by those who had ill-gotten wealth to pervert justice. He recalled that majority of our leaders are either Muslims or Christians who had sworn with their respective holy books to rule with fear of God in their minds and wondered why they are doing otherwise. He enjoined Muslims, no matter their position in the society to always conduct themself in line with the
dictates of the holy Qu’ran and teachings of the holy prophet Mohammed (SAW). He also charged everybody to have belief in the day of judgment when Allah will resurrect all of mankind who had ever lived on the earth to judge them by their deeds and assign to them paradise (Jannah) or the hellfire (Jahannam). He prayed for change of attitude so that the country would be a better place for mankind to live.
MMPN holds stakeholders’ meeting
takeholders of Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) are to meet in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State on Sunday, December 16, to chart a new course for the association. In a statement in Abuja by Alhaji Abdurrahman Balogun, MMPN Chairman, the maiden conference will hold at the premises of B.C.O.S, Ile Akede, Orita Basorun, Ibadan starting from 10 a.m. Balogun listed the ratification of the review of the Association’s constitution, as well as making the Association more vibrant in national affairs, as few of the item of the agenda of the conference. He said the conference will equally discuss state of the nation as it affects media practitioners. Delegates across various branches in the country are expected at the one-day conference.
Ahmadiyya takes outdoor advert to BRT
he Ahmadiyya Muslim Jammat, Nigeria has taken its outdoor advert for the forthcoming annual Islamic conference to the next level, using the Lagos mass transit buses. The aim, according to the media committee, is to attract more people to attend the Islamic gathering in Ilaro, Ogun State coming up between 22nd and 24th of December, 2012. It will be recalled that the first experiment for outdoor advert by any Islamic organization across the world was started by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in the UK.
L-R: Principal of Vanguards Academy, Mr. Luqman Alatishe, the School’s Director, Ustaz Adeniyi Zafaran and others at a media brierfing on the school’s 10th anniversary recently.
One of the beneficiaries of Zakat distribution organized by Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (Z&SF) receiving his tricycle key from Alhaji Kadiri while other guests and executives of Z&SF look on.
CNN profiles Hafsat Abiola
Call to Worship
Friday, December 14, 2012 Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 1, 1434AH
frican Voices, a permanent exhibition that examines the diversity, dynamism, and global influence of Africa’s people and cultures will be profiling Hafsat Abiola, Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist. The vibrant Nigerianborn Hafsat Abiola, daughter of Nigerian philanthropist politician, Moshood Abiola (MKO) and his second wife, Kudirat Hafsat Abiola, in a rare interview examining her commitment to helping her fellow Nigerians in their quest to create a fair and equitable society with her many projects, including a nonprofit organisation, KIND dedicated to her mother’s
memory in Nigeria. The rare interview, which will run in series debuts today, December 14, 2012 on CNN International. “When we got democratic elections in Nigeria in 1999, I now moved home and then, I decided to focus on promoting women’s leadership because by this time, I saw we had a democracy, but women are still marginalized in that democratic system, so KIND then began to work on promoting woman’s leadership in Nigeria” Speaking about her appointment by Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun as a Special Adviser; she said “my appointment is not based on influence, but on the works the gover-
nor has seen us do and the need for us to work towards reducing maternal death. We have to sensitize them to overlook the cost, we pay them to go to the doctor six times before delivery, which is a lot of time, but we want to have enough time to be checking if there’s any complications arising that we have to prepare for, we pay them to deliver in the hospital, so each time they go to give birth, we give them a small amount of money, it’s not a lot, but it will cover transportation and a little bit extra.” The programme will run today at 09:30 pm, on Saturday at 04:30 pm, Sunday at 10:00 am and 07:30pm. Monday 11:30 am and 06:30 pm and Tuesday 06:30 am
Vanguards Academy celebrates 10th anniversary
oremost Islamic College, Vanguards Academy will celebrate its10th anniversary tomorrow at the school premises, Odosengolu, via
Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. According to the School’s Director, Ustaz Zafaran Adeniyi, the event promises to be very interesting, educative and enlightening.
Camosunate wins best malaria management drug in 2012
amosunate (ACT) has been named the best malaria drug by the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology. Camosunate is one of the flagship brands of Geneith Pharmaceutical Ltd, one of the leading firms in the pharmaceutical sector in Nigeria. According to Ambassador Moses Essien, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute, Camosunate was adjudged the best in the category due to many positive indicators such as product quality, value creation and efficacy. “We also acknowledged the international standards, compliance with regulatory laws and guidelines, track record and ethical standards associated with Camosunate,” he explained. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Geneith Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mr. Emmanuel Umenwa described the award as a testimony to the company’s commitment to professionalism and ethical standards. “Camosunate is the leading brand in the antimalaria drug sector and we
are honoured to be recognised as such by a credible and prestigious organization like the Institute for Government Research and Leadership Technology”. The Award will be presented at the African Product Forum scheduled for December 2012 in Port Harcourt. According the World Health Organisation’s report, about 3.3 billion people – half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria. In 2010, there were about 216 million malaria cases (with an uncertainty range of 149 million to 274 million) and an estimated 655 000 malaria deaths (with an uncertainty range of 537 000 to 907 000). Increased prevention and control measures have led to a reduction in malaria mortality rates by more than 25% globally since 2000 and by 33% in the African region. The report revealed that people living in the poorest countries are the most vulnerable to malaria. In 2010, 90% of all malaria deaths occurred in the African region, mostly among children under five years of age.
AMP holds 2nd Sisters’ Seminar
he 2nd SISTERS SEMINAR of the Association of Muslim Professionals themed; Managing Our Teens; Islamic Perspective, is comes up on Sunday at the Art Theatre, University Of La-
gos, Akoka. Lectures will be delivered by Dr. Usman Zarat, Director, Islamic Theological Centre of Nigeria, Ibadan and Dr. Sadiq Ojo of the Faculty of Education, Lagos State University (LASU).
Mr. Abdul-Lateef of Al-Bayan Schools receiving his gift as one of the best-performing teachers from the PTA Chairman, Alhaji Nurudeen Ajala (left) recently.
Call to Worship CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27
also used to receive revelation. He did not consider himself to be anything and did not wish to be a partner in the Imamat e Haqqa (true leadership) that God in Heaven created on this earth. On the contrary he declared himself to be a lowly servant and this is why God’s grace made him a deputy of the Imamat e Haqqa.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) writes in his book ‘Hujjatullah’: ‘Two persons buried adjacent to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) were pious, pure, wholesome and accepted and God deemed them friends of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) in life as well as after their death. Indeed, it was friendship that endured till the end and it is rare to find a model of it. Felicitations to them that they spent their lives with the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and were appointed Khalifa in his city and in his place and were buried adjacent to him and were brought close to the paradise of his shrine and on the Day of Judgement will be raised with him.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) writes in SirrulKhalafa: ‘My Lord has made it evident to me that Hadhrat Abu Bakr, HadhratUmerFarooq and HadhratUsman (may Allah be pleased with them) were pious and had faith and were from among those people who are chosen by God and are made exclusive for His conferments.’ He wrote that God made them doors of Islam and the vanguards of God’s army. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated about Hadhrat Ali (may Allah
Yaum al-Jumu’ah, Safar 1, 1434AH
Friday, December 14, 2012
Essential of Muharram (2) HE DISTRIBUTED WEALTH, ALLEVIATED
PAIN AND ANGUISH AND WAS FOREMOST IN CARE OF ORPHANS, POOR AND NEIGHBOURS be pleased with him): ‘He was extremely righteous and pure and was from those people who are the most beloved of the Gracious God. He was from a good family and was from among the chiefs of the time. He was the lion of the Supreme God and was the youth of the Kind God. He was very generous and had a clean heart. He was that unique valiant who did not move away from the battlefield even if an army of enemy stood against him. He spent a life of destitution and attained a high status in temperance. He distributed wealth, alleviated pain and anguish and was foremost in care of orphans, poor and neighbours. He displayed great bravery in different expeditions and was wondrously skilful in wielding the sword and spear. In addition to this, he spoke mellifluously and eloquently. His words had very deep effect and he removed erosion of hearts with his words and illuminated hearts with the light of reason. He was aware of every kind of manner/ style and experts in various fields would approach him vanquished and apologetic. He was excellent in every quality and in eloquence. Rejection of his excellences is tantamount to committing shamelessness.
L-R: Member, Ahmadiyya Jamma’at Nigeria, Jalsa Committee, Alhaji AbdulAzeze Alatoye; Chairman, Alhaji Mufalilu Bankole; Alhaji Musibawu Raheem and National President, Khuddam-ul Ahmadiyya, Abdul Rafiu Abdul Qadir, during the inspection of 2012 JalsaSalana Nigeria 61st Edition ground at Ilaro in Ogun State.
L-R: Chairman, Jalsa Committee, Alhaji Mufalilu Bankole; Coordinator, Alhaji Abdul Rafiu Adegboyega and Alhaji Lakunle Bello
He used to promote sympathy for the helpless and would instruct to feed those who were content as well as those who insisted to be fed. He was among the chosen people of Allah the Exalted and excelled in deep understanding of the Holy Qur’an. He had an amazing insight of the understanding of the profound points of the Qur’an.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) also stated about Hadhrat Ali (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘A close relative who was stirred with love and faith, covered his face and laid on the bed of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) out of bravery and on the signal of the Prophet, so that the spies of the enemy would not investigate the leaving of the Prophet and would stay around thinking him to be the Prophet.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated: ‘I have an exquisite likeness with Ali and Hussein (may Allah be pleased with them) and no one apart from the Lord of the East and the West knows this secret. Most certainly, I love Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and both his sons and have enmity with whoever has enmity with them.’ He also stated: ‘In my view it was very good that Hadhrat Hassan (may Allah be pleased with him) stepped aside from Khilafat. Thousands had been killed and he did not want more people to be killed…As this action of Hadhrat Hassan (may Allah be pleased with him) is contrary to Shia [creed], therefore they do not fully accede to Imam Hassan. Indeed, we praise them both. Fact is that each individual has di-
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verse strengths. Hadhrat Imam Hassan did not want internal fighting among Muslims to increase leading to more killing; he kept preference of peace in view. Hadhrat Imam Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him) did not choose to take Bai’at at the hand of a wicked man because this is detrimental to faith. They both had good intentions: deeds are judged by motives. It is a different matter that there was Islamic progress through the hand of Yazid. It is the grace of God the Exalted, if He so wills, even a wicked person can bring about progress. Yazid’s son was a good person.’ The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) stated: ‘It should always be remembered that Prophets (on whom be peace) and similarly honest and truthful people of God come in this world as models/exemplars. A person who does not try to be according to their model but is prepared to prostrate before them and consider them as relievers of needs can never be acclaimed in the sight of God the Exalted. Rather, such a person will see that after death the Imam will be weary of him. Likewise, those who exaggerate the status of Hadhrat Ali or Imam Hussein (may Allah be pleased with them) are tantamount to idolising them; they are not from among the followers of Imam Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him). This cannot please Imam Hussein (may Allah be pleased with him). Prophets (on whom be peace) always come as models to be followed and the truth is that without following them there is no point.’ TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK
L-R: Lagos State Missionary, Muallim Muhammad Qasim Oyekola; Alhaji AbdulAzeze Alatoye; Alhaji Muhammed Adeleke; Chief Security Officer, Bro. Nasr Yusuf and Chief Accountant, Alhaji Abdul Ganiyy Idris.
National President, (Sadr.) Lajna Imaillah, Nigeria, Hajiya Biliqees Abdul-Qadir and other Executive members, during the inspection.
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Friday, December 14, 2012
The war in Abia T Charles Okah (in front)
Billy Bones’ long letter
ou may not have heard about Billy Bones. But you certainly would have heard about ‘Gbomo Jomo’ or the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND. The truth is that all these have something to do with one story that is going viral online courtesy of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir El Rufai who has been very critical of the government of the day. El Rufai is driving serious traffic to his online portal, el-rufai.com with a letter purportedly written by Charles Okah (aka Billy Bones) to the Vatican. It was published a few days ago. Charles (Henry Okah’s elder brother) is currently being detained in connection with the bomb blast which happened at Abuja in October 2010. In the letter written to the Pope through Olubunmi Cardinal Okojie, the detainee complained about his situation at the Kuje Prison, Abuja, where he is being held. According to the letter, “While the Boko Haram suspects at Kuje Prison are allowed to worship in the prison mosque, we have never set foot in the prison chapel. They are also enjoying privileges such as cable television, radio, liberty to move within the prison walls, bunk beds to sleep on and phone calls to their families. We are denied all of the above. When I asked the current Controller of FCT Command the reason for the disparity, he said, “the fear of Boko Haram is the beginning of wisdom”. However, another portion of the letter where the writer introduced himself with an alias (Billy Bones) is raising some doubting ‘Thomases’. Meanwhile, with the traffic he is driving on the site El Rufai may be on the way to becoming a political blogger, if attempts to get back to government fails.
wo weeks ago, one of the hottest news items was intrigues to frustrate the return of Chief Orji Uzo Kalu to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. The supercharged intrigues led to a plot to even protest the decision at the Wadata House in Abuja. But barely a few days after the camp of Governor Theodore Orji fought as a
unit, something is coming in-between them. Information from that end of the country is that the Commissioner for Information and the Chief of Staff are entwined in a hot war of supremacy. The buzz is even that the two have been engrossed in a battle where they are firing not only hurtful words but also scandals to newspapers.
Honour for Kwankwasiya policy
he governor of Kano State, Musa Kwankwaso, has been building followership around his political ideologies which is called ‘Kwankwasya’. Loyalists of this ideology, short of talking like the governor, now emerge at functions dressed like him. Last week, some loyalists converged on Transcorp Hilton to honour the man of their dreams, who was being honoured with
an investiture as the Man of the Year. Kwankwaso’s honour is for his promise to deliver 26,000 units of houses in Kano State within 18 months. Interestingly, people like Hon. Farouk Lawan did not see the move as putting the cart before the horse, considering that Nigerian officials have more often than not made promises that were never fulfilled.
Kwankwaso (L) receiving his award from Bukar Abba Ibrahim (ex-Governor of Yobe State), while Lawan stands by.
Lessons from Hugo Chavez
igeria, for reasons bordering on similarities in experience, has often been compared with Venezuela. While both countries are abundantly blessed with crude oil, fuel price in one (Nigeria) has remained four times higher than the other. But the ‘oily’ comparison may be a child’s play when weighed against the patriotism exhibited by their ailing President, Hugo Chavez, a few days ago. Few weeks after winning a re-election, Hugo, who is battling prostate cancer last week announced to his party members that ‘they should begin to consider his deputy, Nicholas Maduro as his successor’, in spite of the country’s constitution which clearly calls for fresh elections under situations like this. While Hugo continues his treatment in Cuba, some leaders in his shoes in Nigeria have refused to acknowledge that they are sick, let alone unfit to rule or nominate a successor. Aside the late President, Umaru Yar’Adua, whose illness threw up several interpretations of the constitution as power brokers bickered over his succession, the country is still confused over the state of health of the Governor of Taraba State, Dambaba Suntai, who was involved in a plane crash some weeks ago. As if this is not enough, Governor Sullivan Chime, of Enugu State, according to sources has been away for months, undergoing treatment in the United States for an ‘undisclosed ailment’, as it is often called in Nigerian political circles. Of course, these acts are leaving tell-tale signs on the states in terms of administration. In Enugu State, MM gathered that salaries of certain categories of staff are being owed for three months.
Many citizens have maintained that the cost of governance is so high in Nigeria that little is left for capital projects. Human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu reacts to the issue: What is your take on national legislators working full-time?
That has been my argument. Everywhere I have gone, I have said that we cannot sustain this bloated National Assembly. We can’t afford this kind of bloated democracy where we pay so much money, where these legislators earn huge allowances. They buy the best and the latest Jeeps in town. They see this democracy as their property, we cannot allow that. I have said it, give them part-time structure; let them get sitting allowance maybe a maximum of N50,000 per day; if they like they can, stay in the best hotel in Abuja, that is their business. If you like, go and stay with your brother but then, have a job you are doing. When you do it that way, people will then want to go there if they are serious about making good law for Nigeria and they will not kill people to get there. They shouldn’t earn more than N50,000 per day. Lawmaking should not be a lucrative business.
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Abeokuta, British Monarchy, PELU AWOFESO
lamide, a slim and straight-shouldered 30-yearold, has offered to take us around the extensive palace complex of the first-class king of Abeokuta, the Alake of Egbaland, in South-West Nigeria. He has led us through the back entrance into the earliest residence (built 1854) of any crowned king in this part of the country, after a bit of persuasion from me. Outsiders, he tells us, hardly ever get this far inside the building, a white bungalow with so low a roof we had to bend a bit to go in.
Hallowed Chamber But he would rather not reveal what he knows about the quiet corner facing us right now. The spot, some seven feet from where we are standing, has (I guess) a history as old as the palace walls. A spear, more than six feet long, stands upright on a white-and-black painted wall; the wall around the spear is visibly stained—maybe the result of many years of splashing all manner of liquids (including animal blood) on it. A little brown pot occupies a small rectangular depression on the ground. At last, Olamide decides there’s no harm in sharing: After a king-elect is named, he has to go into a bare apartment called Ipebi, staying there for three months and taking series of lessons from chiefs, kingmakers and, possibly, members of the Ogboni Fraternity. The Monarch-in-Waiting is allowed no luxury—though he may receive visitors—for the entire period of seclusion; one of the kingmakers says the king is being put through the lifestyle of the typically poor so that he can feel their anguish and then be prepared to improve their lot when he his finally crowned. “After the mandatory 90 days of isolation, the kingelect wears an old crown and stands before this spear to pray to his ancestors and to perform a couple of other rituals. After that, the crown is stashed away and the king moves on to the palace Square for the ceremonial coronation”, he says. This hallowed bungalow was in use until 1904 when the second palace—a storey building—was completed. Up in the second palace, bricklayers are busy with renovation work. The old bronze chandelier on the ceiling catches my attention. I hope it survives the overhaul. And a thick blue mattress belonging to the immediate past king, the 9th Alake Oba Oyebade Lipede I, who passed on, February 3, 2005 aged 90, stands to my left. When the task is done, here’s where the monarch, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo Okukenu IV will hold court and receive visitors. At the moment, he lives in a third palace, a more modern one-storey building completed in 1985. ‘Monuments of Attraction’ As we descend the wooden stairs to go to the palace chapel, it occurs to me that some time ago, an African-American tourist told me how disappointed and enraged she had been on arriving at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, monarch of a town believed to be the cradle of the entire Yoruba people of Nigeria’s southwest, to find not that palace of her imagination but a modern building. She couldn’t reason out why anyone would tamper with these quaint buildings just to suit the tastes of the occupier when the old, original look is what the average visitor would love want to see. I get a response to that the following morning from an official of the state’s Tourism Development Corporation who opts for anonymity. “You will realise that the second palace is still untouched, it is only being renovated”, I am told. “And the first palace is only touched up every now and then to make it more attrac-
Abeokuta in south-western Nigeria was founded around 1830 by Egba people after the collapse of the Oyo Empire.
Egbaland, made up of four sections namely: Egba Alake, Oke-Ona, Gbagura and the Owu, is a traditional state which joins with its bordering sections to form something of a High Kingship.
On January 18, 1893, a treaty was signed with the governor and commander-in-chief of the British Lagos Colony for the purpose of trade; the British recognised Egbaland as an independent state.
Alake of Egbaland is the traditional ruler of the Egba clan of Yoruba in the city of Abeokuta.
Oba Gbadebo, the 10th Alake, was crowned on November 19, 2005
Egbaland was not only where Henry Townsend lived but also boasts of being the home of Iwe Irohin, the first newspaper in Nigeria.
tive. We are not pulling down any of the structures; they remain monuments of attraction. If you go inside, it is still the wooden ceiling; it’s still the wooden steps; it’s still the muddy structure. And the carvings are still there”. Yes, those carvings: they are a fascinating collection of painted wooden images standing about twofeet-plus atop the verandah of the first palace. I gather that they represent personalities (deceased kings and warriors) and deities of time past. But just one (painted chocolate brown) is identified as “Oba Lipede”. Coming into the compound, they are about the very first things to catch visitors’ attention. “I can tell you that the youngest cannot be less than 30 years old and they are regularly repainted to keep them preserved”, Olamide says when I ask why the other ones, numbering 20 or thereabout, are unidentified and undated. I tell him that it would pep up the palace experience if someone fetches the identities and histories of the images. Standing there and listening to the story could be a one-hour thrill in itself. Olamide nods as if agreeing with my point, but something tells me he doesn’t take my suggestion seriously. A gift of the British Monarchy The next morning at 10.00a.m., I am shown into King Gbadebo’s pristine and expansive waiting room. The 62-year-old retired colonel is wearing an all-white Agbada ensemble with moderate, crimson beads round his neck and wrists. A white flywhisk is in his right hand. “I have been here now for weeks and you haven’t bothered to visit me”, he teases someone on his mobile phone. I take the opportunity to look around. There is a ring of well-spaced, ornate settee round the room. The floor is a gleaming brown marble. On the table, a few metres from me, lays a huge black book—the famous “first Bible in Nigeria”, said to be a gift from King Edward VII in1904 (to replace the one presented by Queen Victoria in 1848 to King Gbadebo’s own grandfather but which got gutted). Next to it is another one in red hard cover, also presented to the palace by the reigning Queen Elizabeth II. Traditional monarchy, English royalty and Christianity in Abeokuta have, indeed, been an inseparable trio! “I am ready if you are”, the king calls. His rimless pair of glasses is as charming as the smile he wears. I stoop on the marble floor at his feet and push my recorder as near enough to his lips as I could.
Oba Gbadebo (sitting) writing as a palace subject waits before him.
ON THE TABLE...LAYS A HUGE BLACK BOOK—THE FAMOUS “FIRST BIBLE IN NIGERIA”, SAID TO BE A GIFT FROM KING EDWARD VII IN1904 About the longstanding relationship between the Egba (natives of Abeokuta) throne and Christianity, the king explains that when his forebears first settled around here in 1830, they were under the command of warriors. That meant many battles in the first 25 years. Then, in 1843 a missionary, Henry Townsend, arrived in Abeokuta and advised the leaders to consider returning to the status quo ante—the Monarchy kind of leadership—for the sake of development and peaceful living. And so, the first-ever Alake (Okukenu by name) was installed 11 years later. “So the Alake, as it was from 1854, was the making of the missionary. And once you have a foreigner who
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Friday, December 14, 2012
an old Bible
Ekiti begins upgrade of Ogunnire Groove TERH AGBEDEH
The Bible (inside page)
kiti State Government has declared its intention to develop and upgrade the Ogunnire Groove in Ire-Ekiti to an acceptable UNESCO standard for heritages. The State Commissioner for Culture, Arts and Tourism, Alhaji Ayodele Jinadu, made this known at Ire-Ekiti during an assessment of the site. Alhaji Jinadu, who said government’s gesture was the first major attempt to develop the groove, said that the legendary site would witness a tremendous change in terms of cultural and art development. The commissioner described ‘Ogun’ deity as a symbol of creativity and technology, stressing that government’s gesture should be seen as a way of promot-
promoted a particular aspect of your culture that seemed to have gone dormant, then there would be a special relationship between you and that foreigner, and that is what has created the affinity between the palace and the Anglican Church”. The Cathedral Church of St Peter in Abeokuta, built in September 1898 in Reverend Towsend’s memory, is also considered to be the very first church in Nigeria. As for the “oldest copy of the Bible in Nigeria”, officials of the National Archives have done a fair job of preserving it. The British, according to the king, have requested to have it back (perhaps on loan) but the custodians have not been so willing to part with what is now a “national heritage”. So, it remains in the palace where tourists can have a glimpse at it on request. “Without an adequate insurance that it’ll be returned to us, we cannot send it to Britain”, the king says. The King and his Bible Oba Gbadebo, to my surprise, reads the Bible
keenly. As an A-Level student at the Baptist Boys High School, he excelled in religious studies. He remembers particularly one class activity known as ‘The Drill’, during which the teacher would mention a book of the Bible (including its chapter and verse) and expect the class to open to the exact page and put a finger to the scripture in less than ten seconds. The first to get it stepped forward. “We did that all through our days in BBHS, so I am never tired of opening any part of the Bible”. More than that, the king believes he’s way ahead of most preachers when it comes to tracking scripture verses in the Bible. At this morning’s early service, for instance, the gathering had to read from the Old Testament. “Not many reverend gentlemen knew where to find it”, the king says, looking straight into my eyes. “Many people in cassock when you ask them to search for a scripture, they go to the wrong end to look for it”. Pelu Awofeso is a travel journalist and travelbook author based in Lagos.
ing the people’s rich cultural heritage. In his remarks, the Onire of Ire, Oba Victor Adeleke Bobade, expressed delight at government’s decision and heightened efforts to develop the groove. A surveyor has been assigned to immediately carry out a comprehensive survey of the groove.
Ekiti state governor, Kayode Fayemi
AFCON 2013: SATourism launches “beat” campaign
o intensify excitement around the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Orange AFCON) and encourage as many people as possible to attend the football spectacle, South African Tourism (SATourism) has launched a continent-wide campaign With the theme for AFCON 2013 set as “The Beat at Africa’s Feet”, the multidimensional marketing campaign is titled “This is our beat. What’s yours?” and it is already live across Africa with a strong social and digital media component. It also involves public relations and special travel deals in partnership with the travel trade in each of South Africa’s key African markets. “We are extremely grateful in South Africa for this opportunity that has been given to us and we invite the continent to come and celebrate the football tournament with us in South Africa”, says Phumi Dhlomo, Regional Director for Africa at SATourism. The 2013 AFCON theme connotes the rhythm, flamboyance, energy and excitement of African football, while SATourism has taken
the theme and created an exciting campaign on the continent to draw attention to the Orange AFCON 2013 tournament. People are asked to show what their own particular ‘beat’ is and to share it with SATourism and the world via various channels. “We invite people to watch out for the campaign and to participate in it because we have great prizes to give away and you could just be the lucky one to come over to Orange AFCON 2013 and enjoy all the fun and excitement of the championship on us!”, says Dhlomo. To participate, a single competitor or a group of competitors can upload a video showing “his, her or their beat”, in whichever style or interpretation of the beat. The campaign is designed to encourage people to be as creative as possible and to have as much fun as they like. To participate from Nigeria, competitors need a Facebook page, a valid passport, to ‘like’ TravelToSouthAfrica’s Facebook page and start uploading ‘the beat’ videos. The competition, which opened on Monday, December 10, closes on Thursday, January 17, 2013.
Friday, December 14, 2012
Denrele’s Day is a collection of witty & sincere articles inspired by a zany imagination
firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @mizniyi
y jaw hit the floor yesterday when I heard through an informed source that King’s College Lagos, the premier all-boys secondary school bequeathed to Nigeria by the British colonialists, was recipient of a £1million (one million pounds) anonymous donation! In itself, that sort of staggering cheque going into the coffers of an educational institution is no crime. Aside from brainstorming on judicious deployment and accountability, the main headache for the school’s administrators should be deciding on the most suitable candidate from myriad of fund managers tossing mesmerising bank offers on their table. However, I’d like to opine that a fraction of the amount given to a community school in the backwaters of Badagry, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kogi, Imo or Oyo would make a radical difference to the lives of the pathetically underprivileged. I’m not begrudging KC the due benevolence of the donor or belittle the tremendous impact of sterling tutoring and grooming that has been the benchmark of education in the elitist college. According to reasons offered by colonialists while establishing KC in 1909, the goal was “to provide for the youth of the colony a higher general education than that supplied by the existing schools, to prepare them for matriculation examination of the university of London and to give a useful course of study to those who intend to qualify for professional life or to enter government or Mercantile service”. At the risk of being contradicted, King’s College may well have produced some of the most illustrious citizens of this country –a number of whom are deceased– who have distinguished themselves utilising entrepreneurial skills, politics and even creativity. A few names include: Sir Adetokunbo Ademola (former Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria); Alhaji Lateef Adegbite (former Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs); Dr. Alex Ekwueme (former Vice President of Nigeria); Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (ex-Head of State of the defunct Republic of Biafra); Prof. Kole Omotosho (author, dramatist and essayist); Chief Anthony Enahoro, Wale Adenuga (of the Super Story, papa Ajasco fame); Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria); Hakeem Belo-Osagie (former Chairman United Bank for Africa); Cobhams Asuquo (leading African music producer) and Atedo Peterside, (founder and pioneering MD/CEO Stanbic IBTC Bank). A full list of not-doing-bad-at-all alumni – including a number of my relatives– would safely fill this entire page and spill over into the neighbouring People in the Mirror page. Lest I get everyone distracted with KC’s good fortune, let me emphasise that I only referenced the college as backdrop to draw attention to the appalling standard of education in less renowned/fortunate schools. Just because those nondescript schools
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‘Suicide’ vs ‘Succeed’; Nigerians are losing grip on use of grammar.
produce a lot more people who end up being unsung professionals (and not the next president of Nigeria) quietly contributing his or her quota to national development don’t make them any less deserving of financial lifelines. Yet, I don’t imagine this kind of sentiment would inform an authentic donor’s penchant for altruism... and I sincerely don’t expect it to. Our public schools are desperate for resuscitation and the growing generation could do with real scholarship; not the cash-and-carry education we have today that is flushing out cotton-wool-brained young men and women into society. Take a moment to browse through Facebook, Twitter and other social networking portals and be dismayed by the written grammar or frivolities young people dream up. I am a product of one of the best elementary and secondary schools this country could boast of in the 80s and my schooling did not cost my parents an arm, a leg and the family heirloom. Okay, perhaps my family isn’t exactly the poster child of indigent class, but I remember spending one school year in a community school. At the time, my father thought the experience would give me a paradigm shift of life and its comforts and mend the jagged, spoiltchild perspective I held. It did and it was here, on the dusty playground and leaky classroom of a public school in Ilorin, Kwara State, I learnt possibly 70 percent of the Yoruba I know today. So, while our ministers of the gospel are buying private jets for deftness in spreading the ‘good news’ of Jesus Christ and building their pricey educational facility on acres and acres of land (classrooms of which the average church member invariably may never set foot in), I will implore that they also begin to explore the possibility of mission schools – for free education where the destitute, the wretched and the downcast receive learning at minimal cost. Sounds unrealistically simplistic, particularly if we count the cost of such a huge project; but the same Jesus Christ made a profound statement in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 10 verse 8, while instructing His disciples (which every believer in Jesus is by the way) on their first mission to the world without Him. He was sending them to reach others. He also gives them the power they will need to heal the sick, raise the dead and drive out demons. Just before they leave, Jesus gives the disciples a principle that they should use to guide their actions as they go from town to town preaching His message to others. He tells them, “Freely you have received, freely give”. Love and peace for the weekend.
NTA: No talent again
fter many years of criticism, one would expect Nigeria Television Authority, NTA, to have improved on their programmes and presentations. The only thing they have is Network News at 9.00 p.m., which is more like a funeral parlour with 80% of their news on the Federal Government and Mr. President. This big station collects billions from our oil money and gives us nothing. From the days Telenovellas were brought in and the law banning their staff from writing or performing in programme, NTA died. During the days of Engineer Maduka, there was no respect or appreciation for artistes. Sometimes later, artistes fee were increased and the entire standard of NTA dropped and has continued to drop. The unfortunate part is that there are over 30 NTA stations in this country yet you can’t feel like tuning to any one of them. Nigerian television, under the Minister of Information, a thorough journalist, is a failure. Private stations like AIT, STV and Channels took over the airwaves until the introduction of DStv’s African Magic and now GOTV? From my research, I found out that there are only two million cable subscribers in Nigeria, so the powerful African Magic has not taken over. The South African stations are gradually winning over Nigerian viewers and NTA, the main national TV station, is dead; no plan of improving. It is just made up of civil servants that are totally unproductive. NTA murdered Behind the Cloud, Mirror in the Sun and other good TV soaps just to kill the talent in people. I have been a friend of NTA from the days they were called NTS (Nigeria Television Service). I remember when NTS gave me a 13-week appointment as a producer; I was told that they were waiting for clearance from the Ministry of Establishment but my application had never left the drawer of the then Director of Programmes. They already planned to frustrate me because of my international experience and big qualifications. As God will plan it, I met the same discrimination in Enugu and Benin. I thank God my plan to be an ‘evil servant’ failed and that is why at 72, I am still acting, writing, directing and producing movies and talk shows under my registered company, Edifosa Entertainment Organisation. Last November, I spent N210,000 to visit NTA’s Headquarters in Abuja to discuss my two shows– “Talk Music” and “History of Motion Picture in Nigeria”. To my surprise, the man I met gave me the same NTA excuse; condemning the camera work, setting, presentation, etc. Here is a man who has never created any programme since he joined NTA and now has the audacity to criticise a guru, father,
I WANT TO ASK THIS QUESTION AGAIN; DOES ANYBODY IN GOVERNMENT CARE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY?
patriotic and committed man like me. I am sorry for this country with people like this in charge of NTA programmes because my programmes have already been bought and aired since 2010 till date by three Nigerian stations, a Ghanaian, two Kenyan and it will soon be on the air in South Africa. A London TV station has also been airing these historical and entertaining shows. I am happy the Director of Programmes, Alhaji Umar Muhammed, was very friendly and diplomatic; he will checkmate this type of criticism and discouragement. NTA is a TV station with six channels- Sports, Entertainment, Education, Current Affairs and News/Business and none is functioning well. I want to ask this question again; does anybody in government care about this country? We just continue to fumble and wobble and things are going from bad to worse. Since people like Peter Igho, Danladi Bako, Patrick Itoglen left “No Talent Again”, it dropped into oblivion until the short stay of Ben Bruce; when he was sacked, NTA dropped. With all the money government pumps into NTA as their megaphone, the station is still a disgrace. The state government-owned stations are no better; they are just an annex of state houses. What the poor private TV/radio stations do is spend all the little money they make to buy diesel 24/7 to survive. These TV stations are forced to offer peanuts to acquire programmes or they agree on a reasonable fee for private producers to air their programmes. As for NTA, you pay big money to air your programmes which nobody will watch. Due to bad economy, companies can’t afford to pay for adverts they need. The advertising agencies are no better; they raise funds to shoot adverts in South Africa for the goods we buy in Nigeria. So, everything has gone mad and nobody must complain because we are a country of people who are afraid to demand their rights. It is a ‘dog-eat-dog’ situation, but if NTA had been a good leader, this rot wouldn’t have happened. To be continued
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
People In The Mirror
Friday December 14, 2012
CEOs lunch with Onyeali-Ikpe@50 An exclusive luncheon to salute 50 fruitful years of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of MediaCom, Dr. Ken OnyealiIkpe, held in Lagos on Friday, December 7. Top chief executive officers, business associates and family members were feted in a jolly ambience at the Jades Place Restaurant, GRA-Ikeja.
L-R Femi Kuti; CEO of Optima Media Group, Mr. Rotimi Pedro; Yinka Davies and Jeffrey Daniels.
Nigerian Idol premieres 1st episode It was a night of entertainment as music reality TV show, Nigerian Idol, held a night with the judges on Tuesday, December 11 at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos to premiere the first episode of season three of the show. Along with past competitors and invited guests, also present were the judges, World Music Award winner and Afrobeat star, Femi Kuti; Afro-soul music diva, Yinka Davies and International music star, Jeffrey Daniels.
Celebrant, Dr. Ken and his wife, Nneka.
Chairman, Troyka Group, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo (left) and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Insight Communications, Mr. Jimi Awosika. Femi on the saxophone at the event.
Keziah Jones steams up ‘Lagos Live’! Marketing Services Director, Nestlé Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Iquo Ukoh, showering accolades on the celebrant.
Dr. Ken giving an address.
Nigerian singer, songwriter and guitarist, Keziah Jones (born Olufemi Sanyaolu) lit up the Freedom Park (Lagos) stage on Thursday, December 6, at the opening performance of the four-day 50th anniversary event for Goethe-Institut Nigeria. The ‘Blufunk’ star thrilled guests with his guitar strumming, energy and bare torso as many danced to the music. Goethe’s celebration tagged “Lagos Live”, also included live art exhibitions, performances, dance, photography and video shows.
Keziah on stage.
L-R: Managing Director, OSMi, Mr. Rotimi Pedro; Executive Director, Marketing and Sales, Daar Communications, Mr. John Iwarue Snr. and Vanessa Ndu.
Managing Director, Fax Media, Mr. Ray Efeturi (left) and Dr. Ify Uriah of Opportunity to See. PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Some guests dancing at the event.
PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI
Friday December 14, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Mirror Drive OLUSEGUN KOIKI
his may not be the best of times for buyers of fairly used vehicles, otherwise known as Tokunboh, as there are fears that flood-damaged vehicles may have been imported into the country by some motor dealers. This fear became palpable due to the catastrophe caused by the recent Hurricane Sandy, which in October submerged some parts of United States of America under several metres high of water. Concerned auto shoppers fear that some major importers of fairly used vehicles may have cunningly imported the damaged vehicles into the country, having bought them at cheaper rates and sold them to unsuspecting buyers. Hurricane Sandy devastated portions of the Caribbean, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern US during late October 2012, with lesser impacts in the Southeastern, Midwestern states and Eastern Canada. Sandy, classified as the 18th named storm and 10th hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, was a Category 2 storm at its peak intensity. While it was a Category 1 storm off the coast of the Northeastern US, the storm became the largest Atlantic hurricane on record as measured by diameter with winds spanning 1,100 miles (1,800 km). Preliminary estimates of losses due to damage and business interruption are estimated at $65.6bn, which would make it the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane behind only Hurricane Katrina. At least 253 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. In the US alone, Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin, with particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New York. In the process, so many businesses were disrupted and destroyed while thousands of vehicles were damaged. Although, most of the vehicles on the US roads have adequate insurance cover, in most cases insurance companies resell these vehicles to interested buyers most especially from Africa at ridiculously cheaper rates as ‘accident vehicles’. Dealers purchase such cars and import them to sell as fairly used to interested Nigerian buyers. According to statistics, over 70 per cent of vehicles on Nigeria’s roads today are fairly used cars imported from various countries in Europe and America. Some of the major countries where fairly used vehicles are imported to Nigeria include US, Canada, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany and even Korea Republic. While some concerned auto dealers who spoke to **Mirror Drive** agreed that such ‘weather-beaten’ vehicles may be imported by some of their counterparts, none agreed that his or her company imported or will import ‘Sandy-battered’ vehicles into the country. From Agidingbi, Mile 2, Oregun, Festac Berger in Apapa Road to Ikorodu Road all in the Lagos, the story was the same. Many said they knew the impact of importing damaged vehicles as fairly used ones into the market and insisted they cannot engage in such activities that will affect the image of their companies negatively.
Interior of a flooded car on Coney Island (off the coast of New York) York).
Auto buyers panic over arrival of flood damaged cars An Agidingbi-based auto company, Effective Price, said Nigerian vehicles importers are victims of the hurricane in the US. Senior Manager of the company, Mr. Christopher Amokwu, noted that the disaster would affect importation of vehicles into Africa and Nigeria in particular, stressing that most Nigerians –companies or private entities who import vehicles into the country through the US and other affected areas will experience massive losses. Amokwu pointed out that the recent hurricane in the US and other nations in close business ally with Nigeria will continue to affect Nigerians directly or indirectly even beyond vehicle importation, adding that importation of vehicles from US into the country will reduce drastically in Christmas and New Year. But, he assured that his company since the hurricane Sandy incident has not imported damaged vehicles from the US, maintaining that those imported are serviceable vehicles with little or no defects. He said, “It is true that whenever there is such a disaster, some auto dealers seize the opportunity to import some affected vehicles into the country. In most cases, the vehicles are sold to them at cheaper rates and because of the urge for massive gains, they purchase
such vehicles and sell to interested buyers at the usual rates they sell good ones. “The fact is that some of the dealers are equally not aware of the vehicles they are buying because most of us buy from the auction markets and the insurance companies too are not saints. They might not tell you level of damage the vehicle you are buying has. “However, I want to assure you that our company does not engage in such sharp practices, which will bring disrepute to our image. We have our name to protect and the most important aspect of this business is referral. If a customer buys a bad vehicle from you, there is high probability that such a client will not introduce another client to you and in the process you will lose your image. We don’t do that here because integrity matters for us”. Another auto dealer, Chief Isaiah Aderinokun of Fleet Auto Company in Berger area of Lagos at Apapa, said the recent disaster in the US has reduced vehicle purchase from interested buyers. According to him, some who would have loved to purchase fairly used vehicles are sceptical of the serviceability of such vehicles on display, but declared that unlike some of the dealers in the trade who take the opportunity to purchase cheaper vehicles abroad,
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday December 14, 2012
Crosstour delivers aggressive style
ne of the world’s most distinctive crossover vehicle — the Honda Crosstour — is back offering more style, power and fuel-efficiency. Crosstour also has a higher level of content, including standard equipment like a rearview camera, Bluetooth technology and Honda’s Expanded View Driver’s Mirror. Meanwhile, the premium trim lines will welcome fresh features too, with safety measures such as lane-departure, blindspot and forward-collision systems, along with a new keyless entry feature. Honda Crosstour then showcases a more aggressive and premium appearance, inside and out, with a boldly re-tailored grille, improved cabin materials and a more detailed design at the rear.
MOST DEALERS BUY FROM CAR AUCTION MARKETS AND THE INSURANCE COMPANIES TOO ARE NOT SAINTS Fleet Auto has a partnership with a registered and trusted auto companies abroad. He, however, noted that dealers purchase vehicles from different countries and if they suspect that unserviceable vehicles are being sold in the US, they could import such from other countries that are not prone to disasters. “One pertinent thing to note is that auto dealers don’t buy vehicles from just one company or country. If we discover that vehicles coming from the US are not roadworthy due to the disaster, we can as well buy from other countries of even in Europe”, he said. “However, on our part, we have companies we buy our vehicles from abroad and they are loyal and trusted when it comes to the business. So far, our company has not experienced importation of bad vehicles since the Hurricane Sandy came and went”, Aderinokun stated. Some potential buyers of fairly used vehicles who spoke to our correspondent said that since Hurricane Sandy, they have been sceptical about buying cars from dealers, suspecting that they may not stand the test of time. He said vehicles with less electrical parts may not be affected by the flood, but added that most of the latest car models would suffer. For instance, one Mr. Ayodele Ayobami agreed that with the recent flood disasters in some parts of the globe, there are chances that such vehicles may find a way into the Nigerian market but noted that such phobia would not stop him from buying a used car from dealers in the country.
The biggest changes, however, go more than skin deep: Thanks to a wide range of incremental enhancements, engineers have squeezed an additional two mpg worth of fuel efficiency—in all phases of EPA testing—which is now in line to score EPA marks of 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. Further, the V6-powered
Crosstour will welcome a brandnew, V6 engine with Honda’s Earth Dreams technology, an additional 7 hp, a wider torque band, and EPA grades that improve to 20 mpg city/29 mpg highway/23 mpg combined in its twowheel-drive configuration; with allwheel drive, the Crosstour’s EPA line grows to 18/28/22.
West Africa’s biggest car facility opens in Lagos
ast weekend, Hyundai Motors Nigeria commissioned the biggest maintenance facility for Hyundai brands in West African countries at the Ijesha area of Lagos. The facility, which covers total land area of 1,985sq.mt, showroom area of 825sq.mt, workshop area, 760sq.mt and open space of 400sq.mt, also has five bays for periodic maintenance of Hyundai products in the area. Addressing journalists at the opening, the General Manager, Service, Hyundai, Mr. Gurtel Chhina explained that the ultramodern facility would be used for sales, service and spare parts (3s) of Hyundai products in the country, adding that the motive was to fast track services to loyal customers within the area. Chhina emphasised further that the newly commissioned office also has eight bays for general repair, two body painting bays and one paint booth facility, adding that the opening of the Ijesha-Apapa facility was the fourth in the state for Hyundai maintenance with presence in nine other states of the federation. He said that the facility, which is akin to the service sup-
port centre in Gbagada Lagos, will provide full-scale support to the growing Hyundai clientele in Nigeria and help to enhance customer-dealership relations. The facility will allow existing and future customers to appreciate the convenience of complete one-stop shopping, covering all aspects of vehicle ownership and seamless access to quality service. “As a global brand with reputation for excellent performance, Hyundai takes pride in positioning the brand to meet global corporate identity for quality service and customer satisfaction. And that is why we are expanding our network to cater for all our customers irrespective of their location”, the G.M Service said. According to the General Manager, Hyundai Nigeria, Mr. Jatin Nadkarni, the dealership’s obligation is to make owning a Hyundai vehicle an enjoyable experience, remarking that; “we at Hyundai Motors Nigeria recognise the importance of excellence both in the quality of our cars and in after sales service”. He said the company has retrained all the service technicians in multiple auto repair disciplines and acquaints them extensively in Hyundai’s always-changing technology.
Fixing cooling system leaks in a car Continued from last week
ith today’s aluminium cylinder heads, it is quite possible that your cylinder head may have small cracks that are allowing coolant to leak internally. If this is the case, usually you will notice thick, white smoke from the tailpipe and/or engine oil that looks
like a mocha milkshake when you inspect the oil dipstick. Also, vehicles with automatic transmissions have a transmission cooler inside the radiator that can leak. When it leaks, coolant mixes with the transmission fluid, making the transmission fluid on the dipstick look like a strawberry milkshake. Both problems require professional help. Leaky water pump: Often, a water pump that is about to break down sends out noisy warning signals and then starts to leak before it fails completely. On some overhead cam engines, the water pump is behind the timing cover and is driven by the timing belt, making inspection dif-
ficult. Leave those to a professional. If the water pump on your vehicle is visible, you can check your pump by looking around it for leaks or signs of rust or corrosion around the seals. Locating leaks by pressure-testing the cooling system: If you cannot locate the source of a leak and your vehicle is regularly losing liquid from the cooling system, drive to your service station and ask the attendants to pressure-test your cooling system. The test involves very little time or labour so a friendly technician may do the test free of charge. While you are at it, have the technician pressure-test the radiator pressure cap as well.
Friday, December 14, 2012
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (63)
“If you do not like your work, success and happiness are not likely to be found.” –Leslie M. Lecron * * * DO WHAT YOU LOVE To me, life is too short to waste on what you don’t love doing. Many of us put more consideration on money before passion. This is self torture in action! We should know that when we follow our passion and pay the required price, money will come as a must unless you don’t want it. What is it that you will like to do if money is not required for living? Please and please get busy with it now before it is too late! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL email@example.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
Boy turns 12 at 12:12pm on 12/12/12
n Alabama boy whose birthday is Wednesday said he turned exactly 12 years old at 12:12 p.m. on 12/12/12. Kiam Moriya of Birmingham has a birth certificate confirming the date and time of his birth in 2000 and his parents said they did not notice the pattern until a couple weeks after his birth, Today.com reported Wednesday. “The lady who was helping us fill out the forms said, ‘Do you realize your son was born December
12 at 12:12 p.m.?’’’ said the boy’s father, Kazuo Moriya. “That’s when it really hit us with all those twelves. I do have to admit that it might mean something, but I have no idea what. It’s definitely a little crazy.’’ The family said Kiam has found local and online fame from news of his birthday. “I think a lot of his classmates and his friends think that it is a cool thing,’’ Moriya said. “It has gone a little crazy in my opinion.’’
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Gaza perfume sales soar with rocket name
ales of a citrus-scented perfume marketed in Gaza have soared since it was named in honour of the rockets that Palestinians shot at Israel during a war last month, the manufacturer said. “M-75” perfume, which comes in men’s and women’s fragrances, is named for the missiles Hamas Islamist militants shot at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in an eight-day conflict that killed more than 170 Palestinians and six Israelis, ending with an Egyptianbrokered truce. Although both sides proclaimed victory, and Israel said it had halted rocket fire at its towns, many in Gaza take pride in militants having shot a rocket as far as Tel Aviv, the longest-range aerial strike by the Palestinians so far. “I hope the smell is strong enough for them to whiff in
Tel Aviv and remind the Jews of the Palestinian victory,” Ahmed Hassan, a customer from neighbouring Egypt, said as he bought 30 vials of the perfume as souvenirs in a Gaza City shop. Rajaey Odwan, director
of Gaza’s Continental Style perfume company which markets imported fragrances and local knockoffs, said he thought he’d give customers a chance to smell victory and “turn it into a perfume”.
He sells the 60 ml (2 oz) black-and-green bottles made of orange, lemon and other herbal scents collected in Gaza, for about $13 apiece. “Sales have gone through the roof,” he said.
A vendor displaying perfume bottles called M75 at his shop in Gaza City, on Wednesday.
Friday, December 14, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance Nigerians remain one of the most optimistic groups of consumers among those surveyed by MasterCard on the continent, with an Index score of 91.4 points
The capital market is not driven by euphoria, but by fundamentals of diﬀerent sectors of the economy represented on the Exchange Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Arunma Oteh
Country Manager, West Africa MasterCard Worldwide, Omokehinde Ojomuyide
FG recovers N69.94bn oil and gas revenue CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
the relevant agencies have taken measures to recover this amount,... In 2013 NEITI will take all necessary measures to recover all outstanding cases working with relevant agencies” she said. The Executive Secretary noted that the recoveries were possible through collaborative efforts with relevant government agencies, adding
that the organisation will take all necessary measures to recover all outstanding cases in 2013. The NEITI boss said the report was in line with the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) requirement for each member country to ensure that their audit reports are current and regular in order to sustain their complaint status in
the global EITI. According to Ahmed, NEITI is faced with the challenges of transiting through sustained implementation from transparency through accountability to impact in the lives of Nigerians. She said the role of Civil Society Organisations’ effective usage of the credible reports put forward by the NEITI, is key
to holding government accountable in the areas of remediation and advocacy to recover underpayments. She further stated that for optimal functions NEITI requires massive investment in human capital development through training and capacity building not only for staff but also for Civil Society Organisations.
igerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) yesterday said it has recovered over $442.6 million about N69.94 billion, part of the $2.6 billion oil and gas revenues lost between 199 and 2008. The Executive Secretary of NEITI Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this during the presentation of the EITI Audit Report on the solid minerals sector in Abuja, stated that the recoveries were from underpayments by entities covered within the period under reference. Giving the breakdown of figures of the recovered funds, Mrs. Ahmed said government recovered the sum of $80,740,000 from the 1999 to 2004 audits, $90,907,000 from 2005 audit alone, and $270, 984,622 from 2006-2008, all amounting to the sum of $442,631,622 or about N69.94 billion. L-R: Senior Consultant, Diamond Bank, Mr. John Ekpikhe; Consultant, Mr. Mark George and Head, Retail Banking, Mr. Jude “NEITI working with Anele, at the 26th Business Xpress seminar in Lagos, yesterday.
Oteh foresees growth in capital market in 2013
s Arunma Oteh, the DirectorGeneral, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Thursday said the reforms in various sectors of the economy would
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help to revamp the capital market in 2013. Oteh made the observation at the opening ceremony of SEC’s Journalists’ Academy for 2012 in Abuja. She said that the commission was following the reforms in the power sector. According to her, SEC is monitoring the re-
forms to ensure that the privatised companiesare listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Oteh said that the commission was working tirelessly to ensure listing of upstream, downstream, telecommunication companies on the Exchange. She said that the nation’s bourse had been
FG, states share N572.9bn
recognised internationally as the world most performing capital market. She said that the capital market had recorded over 30 per cent year-todate growth and the best any market could offer in the world. According to her, it is now known that without a world class market,
Nigeria cannot solve its infrastructure problems and transition in agricultural sector. “The capital market is not driven by euphoria, but by fundamentals of different sectors of the economy represented on the Exchange,” she said. The director-general said that the Barclays Global Investors Index would admit the Federal Government bond in its index by March, 2013.
Return of Apapa gridlock threatens port efficiency
FLIGHT SCHEDULE Arik Air
Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)
Aero Contractors Los-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) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun)
EXCHANGE RATES WAUA
OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT
Friday, Decemeber 14, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
EU countries strengthen trade, investment ties with Nigeria •Finland, Sweden to support local companies’ investments in Nigeria STANLEY IHEDIGBO
olicy makers in European countries have said that in spite of the slow growth in the advanced economies, the Nigerian economy, which has continued to grow at about seven per cent in the last 10 years, present huge opportunities for savvy investors to leverage on. The leaders of some of the strongest EU countries agreed after meetings with the Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, that trade and investment ties between their countries and Nigeria must be strengthened at this critical phase of the World economic history for the benefit of Nigeria and their countries alike. The President of the Republic of Finland, Mr. Sauli Niinisto, who received Aganga on Wednesday in Helsinki, Finland, said there was a new world emerging in favour of African economies, noting that Nigeria’s indices were particularly impressive. He said Finland would put machineries in motion to ensure that economic ties between Nigeria and Finland were strengthened and to directly or indirectly support Finnish companies to invest
in Nigeria. The result of the trade and investment collaboration, he said, could only be beneficial to both countries. The Minister of European Affairs and Foreign Trade, Finland, Mr. Alexander Stubb, who disclosed that bilateral trade between Nigeria and Finland was currently 23 million euro, added that the two countries must begin to explore their comparative and competitive advantages for a win-win trade and investment relationship. Stubb said only three EU countries, including Finland, were rated “triple A” by international rating agencies, adding that anyone doing business with Finland had nothing to fear because “a Finnish handshake is something you can trust.” As the first step in the efforts towards strong economic ties with Nigeria, Stubb said he would lead a trade delegation to Nigeria as early as possible in 2013. Aganga, however, said that the 23 million Euro trade between Nigeria and Finland was poor, urging the business delegation from both countries to come up with sound ideas and strategies to increase activities and enhance inclusive econom-
L-R: 1st Deputy National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar; National President, Dr. Herbert Ajayi and 2nd Deputy President, Chief Bassey Edem at NACCIMA’s media briefing on ‘State of the Nation’ in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
ic growth in Nigeria. “In Nigeria, the administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is doing everything possible to make the Nigerian environment friendlier for businesses to thrive. Unlike in the developed economies, where the situation is generally low growth, low returns, in Nigeria, the story is that of high growth, high returns,” he said. On her part, the Minister of Enterprise, Sweden, Ms. Annie Loof, said on Thursday in
Yuletide: FAAN warns motorists of indiscriminate parking at airports OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday warned motorists coming to all the airports in the country to beware of indiscriminate parking during this yuletide season. FAAN noted that such indecent parking within the airport vicinity may lead to heavy vehicular traffic. The agency threatened that it would not hesitate to tow away such vehicle in any of its 22 airports in the country. An online statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati advised
vehicle owners to make use of its designated car parks when visiting the airports, whether for business or pleasure. Dati explained that this would help to decongest the traffic on its access roads and also help to ensure the safety of lives and property within the airports. He said, “All vehicles parked in unauthorised places will therefore be towed and appropriate fines imposed on defaulters. “FAAN has advises Nigerians, especially air travellers, to make early preparations for their travel during the forthcoming Christmas and New Year holidays, to avoid the rush that usually takes place during these periods at major airports across the coun-
try. “Airports across the country usually witness a huge volume of passenger traffic during these holidays, due to increased local movements of passengers for people travelling for the holidays, added to those returning from different countries overseas for the same purpose.” He emphasised that the Federal Government has embarked on the transformation of the aviation industry into an efficient and effective sector, spearheaded by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. This he noted has led to the remodelling of 11 airport terminals round the country and the upgrading of power projects across the country, among other projects.
Diamond Bank achieves instant account opening techniques
iamond Bank Plc, has announced that as part of the initiatives to provide better customer service and expedite customer facing processes, it has successfully implemented BPM (Business Process Management solution) from Newgen Software Technologies. This implementation has enabled the bank in end-to-end automation of the Account Opening and Account Management processes, which in turn would enable to provide improved customer ser-
vice within shortest possible TAT (turnaround time). In a statement the bank said has also launched its latest innovation whereby the bank’s sales staff would be able to open accounts instantly, using their Tablets. Diamond Bank becomes the first ever bank in Nigeria to provide this service. Speaking on the occasion, Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank Dr Alex Otti, said, “This initiative further substantiates our position as a leader in re-
tail banking. The implementation of Tablet based Account Opening reinforces Diamond Bank’s position as a innovator and a technology driven bank.” Speaking also, Head IT & Operators, Diamond Bank, Mr Premier Oiwoh, added “We chose Newgen based on its proven track record in the BPM space and its focus on African market. Based on our deliberation with various solution providers, we felt Newgen products and implementation pedigree met our needs perfectly,” he added.
Stockholm, during a meeting with her Nigerian counterpart, Olusegun Aganga, that manufacturing contribution to GDP in Sweden was 25% while 80% of global technology in mining was from Swedish companies. She added that Sweden was EU’s largest producer of iron ore, reiterating that the current trend in the global economy provided a good opportunity for Nigeria and Sweden to harness their respective strengths for strong, sustainable growth.
She noted that 99 per cent of companies in Sweden were Small and Medium Enterprises, adding that the government was working on a holistic strategy to see that there was more of innovation in SMEs. The minister commended the Nigerian government for putting in place the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan, which among others, is also linked to innovation and skills development, saying that was in tune with the needs of economies at this critical period.
CWG proffers ICT solutions KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria’s leading Information and Communication Technology group, Computer Warehouse Group, Mr. Austin Okere, has examined challenges to and recommended measures for addressing identified problems to ICT growth in the country. Okere spoke at this year’s edition of the biennial Africa Digital Forum and the ICT Watch Africa Digital Network, where his company, CWG won the ‘ICT Conglomerate of the Year 2012’ while Okere himself emerged as the ‘ICT Man of the Decade, 2012’, against stiff competition in the industry. Speaking at the forum, Okere boss examined crux issues affecting the ICT, especially broadband deployment and the way out for the poor performance of the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) segment, among others. Some of the challenges he identified as threatening broadband services and, by extension, ICT in general, include the challenge of Right of Way as barriers to deployment and the fact that some service
providers have become moribund due to certain operating challenges. “Today, most Radio Long Distance Operator, RLDO, are critically challenged; most medium-sized operators, especially Nigerian start ups, are also failing. These challenges could frustrate the country’s’ efforts towards the journey of broadband Internet availability,” he said. While proffering solutions to the problem, Okere in order to overcome these problems, the Right of Way obstacles and multiple taxations should be resolved. He also called for closer regulations of anti-competitive practices, fiscal Incentive to be made available to the ICT players through long-term loan facility and the Universal Service provision Fund, USPF, adding that there was also the need to deal with transmission market incongruence in prices and access amongst others. According to him, “If these solutions are put in place, it would encourage several providers into broadband delivery which will result in the creation of more infrastructure and increase access and reduce access cost.”
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FG, states share N572.9bn TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), rose from its two-day meeting on Tuesday with approved revenue distributions to the tiers of government in November totalling N572.9bn, about N2.0 billion lower than what was shared in the preceding month. This is even as accruals to the Excess Crude Account rose slightly to about $9.66bn, up from the about $9.5bn dollars that accrued to the Account in October. Total accruals from the Statutory revenue source during the month under review was N569.459bn as against the N640.766bn grossed in the preceding month. This indicated a deficit variance of N71.307bn, a development that necessitated the augmentation of the distributions with N59.138bn. The budgeted
distribution for month, inclusive of cost of collection to revenue agencies stood at N574.402bn, an amount higher than the distributions by about N1.51bn. Disclosing this to journalists at the end of the meeting which ended at about 9.05 pm in Abuja, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla, said shortfall in revenues during the month was occasioned by several distruptions in crude oil production and lifting operations during the period as a result of Force Majeure declared by Exxon Mobil, leakage and fire outbreaks at Trans Niger as well as Crude oil theft and maintenance work and Qua Iboe, Brass and Forcados Terminals A breakdown of the shared revenues showed that distribution from Statutory revenue stood at N407.86 billion while VAT accounted for N62.73bn. Others are, SURE-P N35.55bn, refund by
NNPC N7.62bn. Otunla explained “The distributable statutory revenue for the month is N407.868 billion. There is augmentation of N59.138 billion as a result of the shortfall in revenue for the month. Also distributed was the N7.617 billion refunded by NNPC. “In addition, the sum of N35.549bn is proposed for distribution under the SURE-P Programme. The total revenue distributable for the current month (including VAT) is N572.895bn”, he added. On the persistent agitation by state governments for the ECA accruals to be shared, particularly their latest demand that $1 billion should be shared from it, the Chief Accounting Officer of the Federation said since the Federal and States had always resolved fiscal issues of that nature through dialogue, the latest demand by the states would be amicably resolved.
MMA2 commences free Internet services OLUSEGUN KOIKI
he management of BiCourtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of Murtala Mohammed Airport Two (MMA2), yesterday said it has commenced free internet services to passengers travelling through the terminal. The terminal operator said the service is in conjunction with iWayafrica and MultiChoice Nigeria. A statement signed by the company’s spokesman, Steve Omolale-Ajulo, stated that the service was part of its determination to create a unique experience for passengers travelling through its terminal. Omolale-Ajulo said the Wi-Fi Hotspot solution at MMA2 will be the first of its kind in any air-
Group urges probe of FCT officials for contract splitting OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
group under the auspices of Anti-Corruption Network has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe officials of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (MFCT) over alleged contract splitting. The whistle-blower organisation claimed it had uncovered illegalities in the award of contracts by the Office of the Minister of the FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide and the FCT Director of Treasury. The Executive Secretary of the Network, Hon Dino Melaye who spoke at a press conference in Abuja yesterday, also alleged that the jobs were awarded against Due Process and the relevant provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
For instance, the former House of Representatives member, alleged that a total of N171.44m for the purchase of furniture was given to the same company in four batches to meet the requirement or internal approval limit. “After vigorous covert investigation and surveillance to the Office of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Office of the Minister of State, FCT and Director of Treasury, we have made findings that have established monumental corruption in the Federal Capital Territory Ministry. “Findings revealed syndicated fraudulent sharp practices inimical to Anti-Corruption Network standpoint on zero tolerance to corruption in all ramifications. Hush contracts were awarded in utter disregard to Due Process and relevant provisions of the Public Procurement Act as applicable to contract tendering, contract bid processing associated time-line, contract award and tranches of payment were
thrown to the wind, he said. He said the contracts were approved for payment by the Minister but were not “executed and no traces of tranche payment nor advance payment guarantee bonds by the purported contracting companies.”He added that there were no traces of prescribed electronic payment to the contractor nor Value Added Tax (VAT) remittance to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). When contacted, the Special Assistant to the FCT Minister (Media), Mr. Nosike Ogbuenyi, denied the allegations of contract splitting, describing it as “totally false and fallacious.” He said, “The allegation of contract splitting and nonsupply of Toyota vehicles made by Mr. Dino Melaye against the FCTA is totally false and fallacious. This is another sensational plot designed by Dino to hug media attention through wicked blackmail of innocent Nigerians holding public positions and he should be ignored.”
port terminal in Africa. He explained that it will enable users of the terminal access the world while waiting to board their flights. He said, “We’re really making the travel experience unique. We are the only airport terminal in Africa to offer free Wi-Fi to passengers. We are the only airport in Nigeria with live arrivals and departures on the net (www. mma2lagos.com) and this is just the beginning. “When it comes to working, investing and maintaining in the interest of the Nigerian public, we will make sure we remain far ahead. This is just one in the series of face-lifting, multi-million naira projects to be executed shortly at the terminal, which has been enjoying increased patronage in the last few weeks.”
Customs intercepts 7,269 bags of rice along Badagry-Seme waterways OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU
L-R: Winner of the DStv Mega promo Star Prize, Mr. Aloysius Ejike; Managing Director, Multichoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; General Manager, GOtv, Mr. Mayo Okunola and former Super Eagles player, Mr. Victor Ikpeba, during the prize presentation in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI
n the renewed effort of the command to ensure strict compliance with the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (CGC)’s directive on zero tolerance for importation of rice through the land borders and waterways, the Federal Operations Unit, last Sunday December 9 intercepted a barge off the Badagry – Seme axis laden with 7,269 bags of rice with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N50,121,365.08. This was disclosed by the Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A,’ Comptroller Dan Ugo, who confirmed that the seizure was made by a team led by CSC Kirawa Abdullahi. In a release signed by the Public Relations Officer of the FOU
‘A,’ Uche Ejesieme and made available to National Mirror, Ugo said that “what you see here is in furtherance to the wake-up call by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Dr. Abdullahi Dikko Inde (CFR) on zero tolerance for importation of rice through the land borders.” He added that “the unit will continue to collaborate with the Rice Importers Associations of Nigeria and other critical stakeholders in ensuring that the unpatriotic attitudes of these ‘businessmen’ are nipped in the bud. National Mirror learnt that the barge is still at the high sea and that the process of evacuation of exhibit from the barge to smaller vessels for onward transfer to the government warehouse, Ikeja was still on-going as at the time of this report.
Corporate Media bags franchise for Aero in-flight branding
orporate Media, a top line out-of-home advertising company has secured the franchise for the in-flight branding of Aero-Contractor, a major player in the Nigerian aviation sector. The agency has equally commenced plans to secure similar rights with other major airlines in Nigeria for branding purposes. The hint was dropped recently in Lagos by the Vice-Chairman of the leading outdoor company, Mr. Niyi Latinwo, who said it is the agency’s new resolve to use alternative media platform for clients’ business. According to him, the agency, working in partnership with MTN, a leading telecoms company has been using available opportunities in the passenger cabin of Aero to project their brand and various topical messages. His words: “As part of our move in seeking alternative me-
dia for our numerous clients, corporate media is partnering with MTN in utilising the various available opportunities in the passenger cabin of Aero to project their brand and various topical issues”. Presently, Latinwo revealed, “the agency has branded the headrest cover of Aero airplanes for advertising”, stating that it is very effective as passengers are left with no choice than to see the message because it is right there in their face”. He stated that since distraction is almost nil, recall rate for such advert is high which is one of the key advertising goals. He further revealed that compared with other media, the effectiveness of this new platform is unparalleled as this is believed to be the reason MTN, is using the platform as part of its out-of-home advertising platforms.
t is no longer news that the Presidential Committee on Port Reform in conjunction with officers and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and relevant security agencies jointly cleared the Apapa –Oshodi Expressway, what might interest many people is that this nagging traffic situation has gradually returned. This, no doubt confirms some reservations raised by stakeholders over the sustainability of the exercise, which was celebrated with funfair. Chairman of a sub-committee of the presidential committee, Professor Sylvester Monye, who commented on the evacuation of the trucks that had blocked the ApapaOshodi Road for several years, said that the exercise has come to stay, threatening that any truck that is found on any of the port access roads would be crushed. But people were wondering how many of such crushing facilities the government would have put in place. The chairman had also insisted that with the achievement of this feat, the committee’s next target is to ensure prompt cargo clearance at the ports. According to him, when the committee commenced business late last year following a presidential mandate to make the seaports work, the average clearing time for cargo at the ports was about 39 days, which he claimed the committee has reduced to about seven days now. “From the current seven days, our next target is to achieve 48-hour clearance. The greatest obstacle towards prompt cargo clearance has been the conduct of the truck drivers, who intentionally block the access roads and now that they are off, we will have little or no hitch achieving 48-hour cargo delivery”, he had assured. As part of measures to sustain the feat, the committee had proposed registration of the trucks, which would be allowed to come to lift containers on certain days and so any truck caught violating the system by going on an unauthorised day and time would be made to face stiff sanctions. Special Adviser to the President on Maritime Services and a member of the committee, Mr. Leke Oyewole, who spoke in an interview, disclosed that the government is also working on a scheme whereby all trucks operating in the maritime industry would be registered and monitored to forestall indiscriminate parking of trucks. It was gathered that under the scheme, the Federal Government would liaise with the Lagos State Government to facilitate the provision of some hectres of land for the development of an ultra modern truck terminal, where all trucks that operate at the seaports will be expected to part to wait for their turn to load their consignments from any of the ports. Oyewole also disclosed that all the registered trucks would be given tally cards on their arrival at the terminal, which would contain vital information like the date, time and terminal where they are expected to pick their consignments and leave immediately after. He disclosed that a yet undisclosed fine will be imposed on any truck that violates the rule, which he said was designed to check the chaotic situation at the port access roads characterised by indiscriminate parking of trucks, which constitute significantly to the blockade of the port access roads. Minister of Finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, who is chairman of the main committee who led Ministers of Transport,
Friday, Decemeber 14, 2012
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Return of Apapa gridlock threatens port efficiency The gradual return of the traffic gridlock that before now characterised most port access roads has left stakeholders to wonder if there could not be any permanent solution to this nagging problem. FRANCIS EZEM reports
Traffic gridlock on Apapa road
Malam Idris Umar and his works counterpart, Chief Mike Onolememen on a visit to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State had sought the governor’s assistance towards the sustenance of the cleared roads. The ministers, who also visited the management of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, which is handling the rehabilitation of the Oshodi-Apapa Road, had assured stakeholders that the government would do all in its power to sustain the tempo. Less than six months after, it has become evident that despite assurances, the government has not been able to sustain this. This obviously implied that whatever measures that were put in place by the committee and the various government agencies in clearing the roads were merely short term measures that cannot be sustained in the long run. It was probably in realisation of this fact that the minister of transport while speaking at a recent one-day workshop organised by the Association of Maritime Owners, said government’s transformation agenda in the transport sector will be beamed on a robust and sustained port reform programme that will create enabling environment that will make the nation’s seaports competitive and meet global best practices. The minister, who was represented by former managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Mallam Omar Suleiman noted that the non availability of a modern and well managed truck terminal/ holding bay in and around the port vicinity has created serious challenges in traffic management, safety/security and therefore make regulation a herculean task. While commending the truck owners for their initiative, the minister had argued that the creation of such terminal has become germane especially with the benefit of the quick turnaround time vessels as well as enhancing cargo handling time. Chairman of the association, Chief Remi Ogungbemi had, while speaking at
PRIOR TO THE CONCESSION OF THE PORTS, THERE WERE PLACES WITHIN THE SEAPORTS DESIGNATED FOR TRUCKS TO PARK BEFORE AND AFTER LOADING WHILE WAITING FOR DOCUMENTATION, ALL WHICH HAD BEEN ABOLISHED AND ALLOCATED TO ONE TERMINAL OPERATOR OR ANOTHER the event with the theme: ‘Logistics and supply chain management in Apapa and Tincan Island Ports: Challenges and opportunities of a modern truck holding terminal/ holding bay”, had insisted that the place of a holding bay in such port environment cannot be over emphasised The AMATO-boss, who took a swipe at the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), over its failure to designate some areas within the ports as parking area for trucks, which is the practice in most seaports during the privatisation programme, said that this oversight significantly contributes to the perennial congestion on the access roads. The chairman, who observed that trucks play pivotal role in port operations and delivery of goods, noted that the truck own-
ers had taken the bull by the horn by commencing the construction of a modern truck terminal/ holding bay at Ilu-Eri in Ijora area of Lagos as an antidote to the traffic gridlock around the ports and environs. “Prior to the concession of the ports, there were places within the seaports designated for trucks to park before and after loading while waiting for documentation, all which had been abolished and allocated to one terminal operator or another”, he regretted. He noted that this development, which compounded the movement of trucks in and out of the ports, had compelled truck drivers to park on un-authorised places including port gates and sometime along the roads, thus causing congestion on port access roads. Over the years, different measures put in place by relevant authorities to stem the problem like setting up taskforces on traffic control, forceful towing of trucks with a view to creating sanity as well as imposition of outrageous charges and fines have failed to address the problem. On the way forward, Ogungbemi, did not mince words when he said emphatically that these adhoc measures being adopted by the government and its agencies can only provide a temporary relief. He said: “What the government is doing now is like administering paracetamol on a cancer patient to reduce the pain while the cancer disease eats deep into the fabric of the patient”. Unless trucks will no longer come to the ports to lift containers and other imported goods, as long as they do, there must always be gridlocks on the roads because government and its agencies have decided to adopt a cosmetic approach to the issue of providing a truck terminal rather than tackling the presence of the trucks on the roads, which is a manifestation of the problem. He was of the view that both the state and Federal Government should partner the association in developing a truck terminal, especially the piece of land which it has already acquired around Ijora area of Lagos. Alternatively, the Federal Government should as a matter of urgency, consider converting the signal barracks of the Nigerian Army located around Mile 2 area of Lagos to a truck holding bay in order to provide a lasting solution to the problem. In addition to the provision of a truck loading bay, stakeholders also believe that the current poor state of the road is also a major cause of the traffic. The return of this dreaded gridlock, which for several years hampered efficient cargo release from the seaports within such a short time, is an indication that a more permanent solution is required. The earlier this is done the better.
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‘Corruption, greatest obstacle to trade facilitation in Nigeria’ STORIES: FRANCIS EZEM
he Customs Consultative Committee (CCC), has said that the prevalence of bribery, corruption and other trade-related fraud constitute the greatest challenge to international trade facilitation. The CCC, which is a nascent body in Nigeria’s trade supply chain is a private sector- driven initiative to ensure the maintenance of integrity programmes that will identify and suggest ways to combat all forms of illegal practices. The committee; which consists of various government agencies, is fashioned after the Singapore Inter-Governmental Agency Committee charged with the task of developing a national supply chain security guideline. Facilitator of the committee, Mr. Eugene Nweke Jnr., who made this observation while speaking on the factors that promote non-compliant trade environment at a recent close session of the Nigeria Customs Service management, said that particularly, bribery and corruption are the key monsters that make compliance with international trade regulation an uphill task. These, he said hinder trade facilitation. “Fraud and trade malpractices have been a major problem confronting the fluidity and smooth flow of international trade facilitation within the Customs ports. White collar trade crimes have no boundaries, the common elements of trade crime are deceit, corruption, breach of trust/law and
prevalence of violence”, he noted. “Trade malpractices and fraud are perfected in most cases via conspiracy or connivance of; importer/exporter and key stakeholders or actors within the international supply chain flow. Trade fraud operates out of view and at times difficult to detect. It usually takes the form of repetitive incremental thefts. The mixed bag of tricks that fraudsters employ rules out the application of a universal test for determining the existence of fraud in progress”, he lamented. Common types of importrelated fraud include wrong declaration on bill of lading or shipping manifest, deliberate manifest omission and amendments, mutilation, falsification and doctoring of import documents, false waiver and concession letters, authority and certificate.
Others include recycling of import documents, organised computer scam, misuse of password also called garbage –in- garbage- out, which is perpetrated by instructing the computer to ignore alerts or manipulative figures information, deliberate refusal to automate or be hooked online with the Automated System for Customs Data, improper conduct of physical examination of containers due to the connivance to cheat and inadequate cargo handling equipments false button. Similarly, under-invoicing and over invoicing, syndicated operations-trucker terminal operator-agent capacity inconsistency in data and scanning, risk assessment result between the ASYCUDA risk management level and the service providers’ scanners, frivolous issuance of debit notes and over-valuing of imports have also been identified.
Nweke, who doubles as managing director\chief executive officer of Virtues Marine & Freight Services Limited also observed that despite concerted efforts and advancement towards automating the clearance process through the ASYCUDA at Customs ports, trade fraud and malpractices have persisted. This, according to him is because the fraudsters have advanced in their mixed bag of tricks, even tricking the ASYCUDA software programme, adding that study shows that modern day fraudsters or trade malpractices are acts that thrive through syndicated operations. He disclosed that at the centre of this fraud cartel are the importers, exporters, manufacturers and banks, who in the process of initiating the fraud devalue the qualities of products, conceal, wrongly declare and classify goods.
Topher Express, a 32-seater catamaran ferry built by an indigenous boatyard located in Lagos.
Indigenous boatyard laments low patronage of inland water transport
ceancourt Global Limited, which incorporates Topher Marine Services Limited, a fully indigenously owned boatyard has said that the low utilisation of inland waterways transport system in Nigeria has contributed to the low economic growth and development in the country. The company is a marine service provider with competences in the provision of patrol boats, ferry boats, leisure boats, yacht, fishing boats and ambulance boats, among several others. Executive Vice Chairman of the company, Mr. Chris Ajayi, who spoke at the official launch of the newly built Topher Express, a 32-seater executive catamaran ferry, noted that the use of the inland waterways as a veritable means of transportation would reduce the hassles faced by the working class peo-
ple in Lagos and other states that are blessed with inland waters and therefore enhance their efficiency and productivity. According him, a journey from Ikorodu –Lekki on the Lagos Island for instance, takes about four or five hours in the morning when the workers are going to work and even more than that in the evening at the close of work, which however takes a maximum of 25 minutes on boat. This development, he regretted impacts negatively not only on the performance of the workforce but also on their health, even as many of them spend much time on traffic gridlocks with the attendant cost on fuelling and maintenance of their vehicles as well as loss of many man hours. ‘Lagos is surrounded by water and so I do not see any
reason why corporate bodies should not explore the option of water transportation as a means of moving their workforce to and from work through the acquisition of staff boats after all, they acquire staff buses for the same staff ”, he wondered. On the newly launched boat, he disclosed that Toher Express is a 12-metre boat with a low cost, low maintenance, robust, superfast, stable shallow draft, customised fibreglass boat and incredibly versatility. Like other catamaran boats, Topher Express, which is a double hull boat allows the operator to approach the coast (berth area) very close and anchor in shallow waters and also has greater stability in rough waters, especially due to the double hull unlike single hulls and also has excellent load car-
rying abilities. Other features of the boat include being faster than the mono hull, wider in size, a development that makes the interior and deck more specious. Apart from the challenges associated with the low awareness on the use of inland water transportation and the attendant low patronage for the boats, Ajayi also listed the problem of poor power supply, which had made the cost of building a boat so expensive since all the equipment at the yard had to run on diesel generators. This development, it was gathered had compelled the company to relocate its boatyard from the Badore, Ajah area of Lagos to Egbin, Ikorodu near the power station, where electricity supply is relatively stable.
Intels harps on safety at work place
ntels Nigeria Limited has restated its commitment to high standards in health, safety and environment at work place for its staff, clients and partners with a view to eliminating loss of time to injury (LTI). Intels, which developed world class port facilities and infrastructure dedicated to the oil and gas industry, with operating bases at Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne ,Warri, Calabar and Lagos Ports had attained a milestone of five million man hours without LTI. General Manager of Intels, Mr. Johan Coetzerge, who spoke at a one-day health safety and environment forum organised by the company recently in Port Harcourt, observed that current oil and gas activities are getting more sophisticated with the application of highly sensitive materials and equipment in addition to locally fabricated heavy duty structures for deep offshore operations. The forum, which was designed to collectively develop ideas that will improve and promote the right culture, behaviour, attitude, leadership and accountability within the work place centred at the theme: ‘Enhancing positive safety culture within work environment. This inaugural event apart from bringing together health and safety professionals of firms operating within the oil and gas free zone, it also provided a platform for sharing industry wide, local and international best practices. The general manager noted that the increasing sophistication calls for continuous assurance to the operators through such collective forum of the company’s preparedness and safety commitments. According to him, with the increasing desire of industry operators and stakeholders to migrate to the coveted Integrated Management Systems (OHSAS), certification, there is urgent need to cultivate the right attitude and synergy to work in tandem, arguing that failure to have the right attitude and preparation can impact negatively on performance and therefore increase operational cost. He also assured that the event was a further demonstration of genuine commitment improvements in health, safety and environment at all times and to effectively support initiatives of it clients and partners without loss of down time to their operations. “Intels believes that achieving customer satisfaction is equivalent to achieving zero incidents, hence the need for all stakeholders to come together and collectively assess foreseeable risks and eliminates or reduces these risks to reasonably practicable level. Business can only get better when we identify and correct unsafe behaviours at work, engage and motivate our workers at all times”, he noted further.
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SEC targets oil, telecoms sector firms’ listing in capital market TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND JOHNSON OKANLAWON ABUJA
he Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arunma Oteh, yesterday said that the Commission would pursue vigorously its ongoing efforts to deepen the capitalisation of the nation’s capital market through the listing of new companies’ stocks in the bourse. She specifically said efforts were being intensified to make the operations of the market to be standardised in line with global best practices in order to attract oil and gas, telecommunications, power and other key sectors’ players into the market. Giving the assurance at the opening session of the SEC Journalists’ Academy 2012 with the theme “Promoting Excellence in Capital Market Report-
ing”, in Abuja Oteh said the stock market was becoming increasingly more important to the economic revitalisation agenda of the country in view of being a primary source for long-term funding of key projects and programmes. While noting that the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) currently contributes about 17 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), she explained that the Commission’s plan is to encourage more investments in the market through enabling policy frameworks and operational guidelines that promote transparency in the system generally. She said: “The stock exchange is the barometer of any economy. We are waiting for the petroleum upstream, telecom companies and others to list. There are people who are ready to invest and there are vehicles to enable
them do that. “There is money to invest when these companies like Shell Petroleum are ready to list” she said. She said that she was happy with the developments in the power sector and expressed the hope that there is need to have a credible plan for the companies to enable them listed in the exchange as soon as possible. To achieve the laudable goal of attracting more entities in the bourse, Oteh said that strong disclosure and enforcement regimes must be put in place to build investors’ confidence in the system. “If people put their money in the stock exchange, they should have confidence in the market and be aware that their money would not be sunk. They also want an assurance that if there are any infractions, those that commit them would be brought
to book and be made to face the consequences of their actions “A world class market is built on trust, enforcement regime and people who do wrong must be punished to serve as a deterrent to others”the Commission’s boss added. Describing Nigeria as a country that has become investors’ preferred destination in the past few years, she pointed that with a population of 166 million people and growing income, global investors are bound to be exploring more than ever before the abounding investment opportunities if the regulatory policy regimes assured security of their investments. “There is a clear recognition that this is the market to be in. Our market is not only about equity as we also have an important bond market which is why the Federal Government Bond has received global recognition” she said.
Demutualisation of NSE is on course - ASHON JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria has said that the demutualization of the Nigerian Stock Exchange is ongoing and nobody can stop it. Speaking at the maiden Securities and Exchange Commission Journalists’ Academy in Abuja yesterday, on behalf of his members, the President of the association, Mr. Emeka Madubuike, pointed out that the committees reports on the demutualization have been submitted to SEC and it will be ap-
proved at appropriate time. According to him, the SEC and the registered members of the NSE are working together to take the Nigerian capital market to the next level. He said, “When there is a change of leadership, we must be patient and diligent. We are going to overcome the challenges and come out better.” Madubuike noted that there is need to attract local investors, as there are about 70 millions potential investors in the country. Meanwhile, trading in equities continued on
bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took position on companies with good corporate actions. The All-Share Index rose by 0.54 per cent to close at 27,663.52 points, compared to the increase of 1.72 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 27,514 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N47.7bn to close at N8.83trn, lower than the rise of N148.3bn recorded the preceding day to close at N8.79 trn. Air Service Plc led the gainers’ table with 32
kobo or 9.79 per cent to close at N3.59 per share, followed by Nigerian Breweries Plc with N.94 or 5.84 per cent to close at N162.00 per share. On the flip side, DN Meyer Plc shed 22 kobo or 9.69 per cent to close at N2.05 per share, while Skye Bank Plc lost 27 kobo or 6.32 per cent to close at N4.00 per share. Transaction volume in equities rose by 12.3 per cent, as a total of 464.23 million shares valued at N3.72bn were exchanged in 4,877 deals, compared to 413.33 million shares worth N4.02bn traded in 4,939 deals the preceding day.
Shareholders endorse UBA’s new banking structure
n compliance with the new regulations, shareholders of United Bank of Africa (UBA) in Lagos yesterday unanimously approved the adoption of a commercial banking structure by divesting all non-commercial banking businesses of the Group which are now to be held separately from UBA Plc by the bank’s shareholders. Shareholders have approved the internal restructuring and reorganisation of the capital
of the Bank and its members in compliance with the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Regulation on the Scope of Banking Activities and Ancillary Matters, which repealed the universal banking model under which Nigerian banks hitherto operated. Under the new arrangement, the divested non-commercial banking businesses (except Africa Prudential Registrars and Afriland Properties that will be held directly
by shareholders) will be consolidated within UBA Capital Plc, which today is one of the bank’s subsidiaries. Besides UBA Plc, the restructuring will therefore result in the emergence of four separate standalone companies namely, UBA Plc, UBA Capital Plc, African Prudential Registrars Plc and African Properties Plc. Chairman of the bank, Chief Israel Ogbue while listing the benefits of the proposed structure
said it would enhance UBA’s corporate governance practices as there will be dedicated board and management focus on the core business of commercial banking. He added that the structure will ensure the protection of shareholder value noting that in designing the new structure, care has been taken to ensure that the potential concerns of all stakeholders are addressed, particularly shareholders of UBA Plc.
Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 12 DECEMBER & 13 DECEMBER 2012 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00
1 2 -De c -1 2
1 3 -De c -1 2
Market indicators All-Share Index 8,839,141,539 points Market capitalisation 27,663.52 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 9.79
LOSERS COMPANY DNMEYER
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, December 14, 2012
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Friday, December 14, 2012
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Community Mirror “On a particular day when looking through all applications, I saw nine different files with fake documents.” LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR, BABATUNDE FASHOLA
Govt has neglected Igbokoda –Monarch HAKEEM GBADAMOSI
cases of rape which were embarrassing to everyone. There were kidnappings and harassments of people because the criminals were armed. This was going on because the more you harass people, the more they see you as a militant. Yet at the end of every month, they get paid through the amnesty programme on the false claim that they handed in their arms.” He said, immediately after his coronation, he instituted a community policing mechanism. “We persuaded everyone that we all have a stake in the development of this town, we cannot continue to harass people and expect development. The stakeholders met and fashioned a way out of this menace. We did not limit it to the police alone, we organized a community vigilante, even at night I put on my clothes and
go out with them and anyone caught was handed over to the police,” he said. Speaking on the benefits of the home grown strategy, he said: “Many of the potential criminals have left the town. They lived with us but have fled, because we know they cannot kidnap anyone in the daytime, they commit most of their crimes at night.” The royal father, who said he was not ignorant of the many projects being implemented, is however, asking for more government presence in the area. “Look at it, Igbokoda is the least developed of all the local government headquarters in Ondo State. It is the only one with the least number of roads; there are only two roads in the whole of Igbokoda and they terminate at the river and abattoir.”
Odidiomo, said he was surprised to see a document indicating that all the roads in the area have been tarred. Even some of the drainages that were awarded are poorly executed or not even built. Contracts are awarded to companies that are nonexistent and our people are not happy about this, so they thought the only thing to do is to call on someone to lead them to a better tomorrow.” The health centre that we have in this place is poorly equipped. I had cause to visit the General Hospital and forwarded a report to the Health Management Board, that doctors should be encouraged to live and work here because they all live in Okitipupa.” I was told that the health centres at Ilaje are not functioning because nobody is ready to go to the interior to work, and there is only one general hospital at Igbokoda and the population of people coming from the riverine area depends on it for their health needs. What we have here are some private hospitals that train some women as auxiliary nurses, and they all they live at Igbokoda , while calling themselves doctors and treating patients in their private rooms”. He lamented the number of quack doctors and nurses in the area. “You cannot blame the government, as there are towns and villages that the governor does not even know of their existence because he cannot be everywhere. But those of us from here know such villages exist, but most politicians do not care, all that matter to them is what they will get,” he said. The traditional ruler, who is a product of the University of Ife, said he wants to see improvement in the education of his people. “Most teachers do not want to come to Ilaje to teach; even those who are here are not prepared to teach. It is either they are not regularly paid or the condition under which they work is not conducive. We are seeking to establish a school in the next few months, that would give our children the kind of education that we have in other parts of the country.”
Justice Ogu, however noted that in order to encourage peaceful co-existence among the parties, he would not make any order as to costs, adding that each party should bear respective costs of litigation. The plaintiff had filed the suit claiming against the defendants jointly and severally, a declaration that the plaintiff is the agent of the government of Anambra State for the collection of petty traders’ toll in Eke Osumenyi market. The plaintiff also sought a court declaration that the acts of the defendants, their agents, cohorts and or privies, in-
terfering with, or preventing the plaintiff from carrying out its activities, in the collection of toll in the market within their period of appointment, is unlawful, unwarranted, wrong and a violation of the plaintiff ’s right to carry out its legitimate duties. The plaintiff also claimed the sum of N5 million from the defendants as general damages. But barely a month after the court ruling, people of Osumenyi had petitioned the Commissioner of Police, Anambra State, Mr. Ballah Nasarawa, requesting
investigation into the activities of defendants in who now extort monies from them in the name of levies. In a petition to the CP, a community leader, Celestine Obioguatu, alleged the same defendants who won the suit are now extorting monies from traders with impunity. The petitioner regretted that some policemen attached to X-Squad Department and assigned to investigate the matter, have failed to arrest and prosecute the extortionists, but rather are aiding to continue with their extortion at Eke Osumenyi market.
he Olu of Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Afolabi Odidiomo, has said that with a drop in cases of kidnappings and youth restiveness in the oil bearing community, the area is now looking forward to massive infrastructural development. Speaking with our reporter in his palace, Oba Odidiomo a lawyer attributed the success to the amnesty programme of the federal government and his tireless efforts at motivating the youths towards channeling their efforts to meaningful socio-economic activities. Odidiomo, who is the Larada I, said the community needs more schools, medical facilities and incentives to attract qualified doctors and teachers to the area and stem the tide of quacks presently manning the health facilities. Much as he condemned kidnappings for profit motive, he said the criminal practice was borne out of frustrations and deprivations suffered by communities that produce much of the country’s wealth, yet the people live in abject poverty and neglect. “You cannot say there is kidnapping in this area, but it should be traced to anger in the Niger Delta region. It is not limited to this area alone. The people from the Niger Delta believe they are the geese laying the golden egg, yet are suffering beyond their imaginations. That is why youth of the region took up arms to challenge the government. You cannot be taking oil from our land and abandon it the way it is,” he said. He said kidnapping which initially targeted oil workers and top government officials, later changed from an instrument of political protest to money-making venture by new set of criminally minded persons”. The traditional ruler said this development has had a bearing on the level of social activities in his domain. “When I came on board, kidnapping was not the only problem we had here; there were
NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
High Court in Nnewi, Anambra State, presided over by Justice Ike Ogu, has dismissed a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Osumenyi Development Union, against two indigenes, Stephen Muojekwu and Alphonsus Oforkee, for lack of merit. In his ruling after hearing Kingsley Awuka for the plaintiff and S. O. Nworie for the defendants, Justice Ogu, noted that having resolved the sole issue for determination against the plaintiff, it follows that there is no longer merit in the suit which is hereby dismissed.
Town union loses suit to levy toll
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Friday, December 14, 2012
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Japan positions jets as Chinese plane flies over disputed isles
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
outh African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will challenge President Jacob Zuma for leadership of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) next week, spicing up a one-sided race for the top political position in Africa’s biggest economy. Motlanthe’s aide, Thabo Masebe ended months of speculation about the internal ANC election in the city of Bloemfontein, saying Motlanthe would enter the contest after winning the backing of two of South Africa’s nine provinces. “I understand he will contest the presidency,” he told Reuters yesterday. The 70-year-old Zuma remains firm favourite to win re-election
“I can’t understand why one has to sacrifice Russian-U.S. relations in favour of reaping a political dividend” – Russian President, Vladimir Putin
S’Africa’s VP challenges Zuma for ANC leadership in Bloemfontein as head of the ANC, a position that puts him in pole position to secure a second five-year term as state president in an election in 2014. The ANC, which has run South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994, retains the strong emotional support of most of South Africa’s 80 percent black majority, making a defeat at the ballot box any time this decade highly unlikely. Motlanthe has not expanded
on why he will oppose Zuma. But he has spoken of restoring democracy and openness to Nelson Mandela’s 100-year-old liberation movement, whose image has suffered under the scandalplagued Zuma. Zuma won wide support from ANC branches in five provinces, meaning that, barring any last-minute mishaps, he should emerge again as party leader in Bloemfontein. The previous ANC election,
US Treasury Assistant Secretary visits Nigeria
he U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for International Finance, Charles Collyns, was in Lagos and Abuja, rounding off his three-day visit, when he met with senior government officials, yesterday. He also visited representatives of the international financial institutions (IFIs), and members of the financial and private sector to discuss Nigeria’s economic development challenges and priorities; macroeconomic management; infrastructure and institutional development; and engagement with the IFIs. Assistant Secretary Collyns recognized Nigeria’s strong recent economic performance and dynamic private sector and emphasized the close economic and financial ties between the United States and Nigeria and Treasury’s commitment to close partnership with Nigeria. He welcomed President Jonathan’s ambitious reform agenda aimed at ensuring macroeconomic stability, prudent natural resource and revenue management, and financial sector stability. The discussions focused on the challenges of sustaining broad-based, inclusive growth vital to alleviating poverty and realizing Nigeria’s long-term vision towards becoming one of the world’s largest economies.
in the city of Polokwane in 2007, was a riotous affair at which Zuma ousted then-president Thabo Mbeki, creating rifts that divide the party to this day and hamper its ability to run a sophisticated emerging economy. Mindful of the Polokwane chaos, which included delegates throwing chairs and baring their buttocks at the vanquished Mbeki, the ANC’s overseers are keeping a tight lid on the vote, including even withholding the names of leadership candidates. “We’re not at liberty to tell you the nominees,” party election commission chairman Mochubela Seekoe told a news conference, infuriating reporters crammed into the lobby of the ANC headquarters in downtown Johannesburg. Motlanthe is also running to retain his current job of deputy leader, but faces a strong lastminute challenge from Cyril Ramaphosa, an inspirational antiapartheid union leader and now South Africa’s second-richest black businessman. Apart from the votes, the fourday conference, which starts on Sunday, will chart a broad policy course for the next five years, reaffirming the primacy of the state in guiding the economy with a mixture of direct intervention and regulation.
Spain seizes Mubarak assets
olice in Spain say they have seized assets linked to former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak worth some 28m euros (£23m; $34m).
They took action after the new Egyptian authorities made an international request to block the assets of 130 people associated with his rule. Some 18.4m euros in financial products have been frozen in Spanish banks. Other assets include properties in the capital Madrid and the resort of Marbella, and seven luxury cars. The two buildings in Madrid’s wealthy Moraleja district are worth a combined 7m euros while the seven properties in Marbella are worth more than 3m euros. “The assets could be the proceeds of crimes such as the embezzlement of public funds, corruption or the illegal en-
richment committed during his mandate,” police said. Mubarak was overthrown on 11 February last year after nearly three weeks of mass unrest in which nearly 900 people died and more than 6,000 were injured. He was jailed for life this summer for his role in ordering the killings. Reports that Mubarak and his inner circle had stolen tens of billions of dollars helped fuel the revolt against his rule. Switzerland has frozen some $441m in assets linked to Mubarak. In the UK, at least £85m ($135m) of assets have been frozen, though there are fears that some property and companies may have been overlooked.
WORLD BULLETIN ECOWAS cautions against protracted dialogue on Mali The ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman says it would be “dangerous” to rely on dialogue as the sole strategy for resolving the crisis in Mali sparked by the takeover of the north of the country by Islamists and secessionists. “While dialogue remains the preferred of the two options being deployed by the region to resolve the problem, there is increasing evidence that some of the elements involved in the crisis are not amenable to dialogue,” the Commissioner told the visiting Commander of the United States African Command, General Carter Ham, at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja on Tuesday 11th December 2012. Regional leaders had in response to the March 2012 coup that deposed former President Amadou Toumani Toure, which precipitated the current crisis adopted a twopronged strategy of dialogue and the possible deployment of troops to resolve the accompanying political crisis and help the country restore its territorial integrity. The Commissioner said it was in recognition of the primacy of dialogue that regional leaders appointed one of their peers President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso as mediator and who has remained engaged with some of the elements in the north of the country that have indicated their preference for dialogue in resolving the situation in the northern Mali.
UK pays $3.5m to settle Libya rendition claim A Libyan man who claims he was forcibly sent back home, along with his wife and children, in 2004 to face imprisonment and torture under Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, has accepted a settlement of $3.5m from the UK government over its alleged role in his illegal rendition. A British foreign office spokesman said: “We can confirm that the government and other defendants have reached a settlement. There has been no admission of liability and no finding of liability in any court.” Sami al Saadi, a leading Gaddafi opponent, was allegedly forced on board a plane in Hong Kong with his wife and four young children in a joint operation between the UK, US and Libya. The al Saadi family had been living outside Libya in an effort to avoid Gaddafi’s agents. Once back in Libya, all of them were initially imprisoned and al Saadi was held and tortured for a number of years. Evidence of the rendition came to light after the fall of Gadaffi’s regime in 2011.
Friday, December 14, 2012
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Japan positions jets as Chinese plane flies over disputed isles
apan scrambled fighter jets yesterday after a Chinese government plane entered what Japan considers its airspace over disputed islets in the East China Sea, escalating tension between Asia’s two biggest economies. Japan protested to China over the incident but China brushed the complaint off saying the flight by the Chinese aircraft was “completely normal”. Sino-Japanese relations took a tumble in September after Japan bought the tiny islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from a private Japanese owner. Patrol ships from the two countries have been shadowing each other since then in a standoff that has raised concern that a collision could escalate into a clash. Yesterday’s incident was the first time both sides used aircraft in the dispute. “Despite our repeated warnings, Chinese government ships have entered our territorial waters for three days in an row,” Jap-
anese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osama Fujimura told reporters. “It is extremely regrettable that, on top of that, an intrusion into our airspace has been committed in this way,” he said, adding that Japan had formally protested through diplomatic channels. Japan’s military scrambled eight F-15 fighter jets, the Defence Ministry said. Japanese officials later said the Chinese aircraft had left the area. It was the first time a Chinese aircraft had intruded into Japan’s airspace near the disputed islands, Japan’s Defence Ministry said. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda later instructed the government to be “all the more on guard”, the Kyodo news agency reported. China’s state maritime agency said a marine surveillance plane had joined four Chinese vessels patrolling around the islands and the fleet had ordered Japanese boats to leave the area immediately. “The Diaoyu islands and
Japan Coast Guard Commandant, Takashi Kitamura, speaking during a news conference in Tokyo, yesterday PHOTO: REUTERS
affiliated islands are part of China’s inherent territory. China’s flight over the islands is completely normal,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a briefing in Beijing. Japanese analysts said it was a significant escalation. “This is serious ... intru-
sion into Japan’s airspace is a very important step to erode Japan’s effective control over the area,” said Kazuya Sakamoto, a professor at Osaka University. “If China sends a military plane as a next step that would really make Japan’s control precarious.” Toshiyuki Shikata, a Teikyo University profes-
sor and a retired general, said the use of aircraft by both sides was significant. “Something accidental is more likely to happen with planes than with ships,” he said. The incident comes just days before a Japanese election that is expected to return to power the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) with hawkish former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the helm. Abe has vowed to take a tough stance in the dispute over the islands, which are near potentially huge maritime gas reserves, and has said that the ruling Democratic Party’s mishandling of its diplomacy had emboldened China. Abe has also promised to boost spending on defence including on the coastguard. Smaller Asian countries such as the Philippines have also become increasingly worried about Beijing’s growing military assertiveness and its claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea. U.S. President Barack Obama urged Asian lead-
ers during a visit to the region in November to rein in tension over territorial disputes. Washington does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands but says they are clearly covered by a 1960 security treaty obliging the United States to come to Japan’s aid if attacked. US Assistant Secretary of State For East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell reiterated that on Thursday. “We are encouraging all sides to take appropriate steps so that there will be no misunderstanding or miscalculation that could trigger an environment that would be antithetical to peace and stability,” Campbell told reporters in Malaysia. China says the islands are its “sacred territory” and says its claim predates Japan’s. Nationalization of the islands in September was intended to keep them out of the hands of a fiery nationalist politician, to head off a more damaging confrontation with China.
Israeli Foreign Minister charged with breach of trust Morocco’s biggest opposition
srael’s powerful foreign minister was charged yesterday with breach of trust, but escaped more serious charges in a fraud and money-laundering
case that could jeopardize his political career and upend the Israeli political system just a month before parliamentary elections. The decision by Israel’s attorney general capped an investigation into Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that stretched back more than a decade. Lieberman, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, immediately came under heavy pressure to resign. Lieberman planned an announcement Thursday evening. In a brief statement, Lieberman’s attor-
neys said they respected the decision and would study it. Lieberman in the past has denied all accusations and alleged they were politically motivated. In a statement, Netanyahu appeared to rally behind his foreign minister. He congratulated Lieberman for fending off the “main accusations” and said he was entitled to his day in court. “I believe in the Israeli justice system and I respect it. The right it gives every citizen in Israel to defend himself is extended to Minister Lieberman and I hope
he proves his innocence in the one issue remaining,” Netanyahu said. The Soviet-born Lieberman is head of Yisrael Beitenu, an ultranationalist party that is especially popular with immigrants from the former Soviet Union. With a toughtalking message that has questioned the loyalty of Israel’s Arab minority, criticized the Palestinians and confronted Israel’s foreign critics, he has at times alienated Israel’s allies while becoming an influential voice in Israeli politics.
Syria government losing control – Russian official
Russian official has said for the first time that the Syrian government may be defeated by opposition forces. President Bashar alAssad’s forces are “losing more and more control and territory”, deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov said. He said Russia, one of Syria’s staunchest allies, was making plans for a possible evacuation of thousands of its citizens. Separately, Syria denied
reports it had fired Scud missiles at rebels. Nato’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen earlier said the organisation had detected the launch of such short-range missiles, saying it showed an “utter disregard” for the lives of the Syrian people. Russia, along with China, has used its veto at the UN Security Council to block resolutions condemning the Syrian government’s use of violence. But Mr Bogdanov said
yesterday: “Unfortunately, we cannot rule out the victory of the Syrian opposition.” Mr Bogdanov repeated Russia’s call for dialogue between the two sides, predicting that the fighting would grow more intense. These comments are significant. Russia has been a firm supporter of President Assad, providing the Syrian government with political and military support; it has also protected the Syrian leader at the UN,
by vetoing Security Council resolutions that would have increased the pressure on the Syrian president.
leader dies heikh Abdessalam
Yassine, the charismatic religious leader of Morocco’s largest opposition movement and long time opponent of two Moroccan kings, died Thursday. He was 84. Yassine, who founded Adl wal Ihsan (Justice and Spirituality), accused the monarchy of being corrupt and dictatorial and questioned its claim to religious legitimacy. His spent a decade under house arrest at the hands of Morocco’s former ruler, King Hassan II. Yassine refused to accept the king’s title as Commander of the Faithful and his group went on to become an important part of the pro-democracy
February 20 that demonstrated in the streets for much of 2011 for political reform and an end to corruption as part of the region-wide Arab Spring. The bearded and veiled members of the movement would march side by side with the left-wing and secular activists, calling for less power for the hereditary monarchy and more power for elected officials. With the election victory of a moderate Islamist opposition party in November, Yassine’s movement withdrew from protests and has largely remained quiet, apparently giving the new government time to enact reforms. Formed in 1987, Adl wal Ihsan is officially banned but tolerated.
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CPC condemns burning of Living Faith church WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he Kwara State chapter of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) has condemned in strong terms, the burning a branch of the Living Faith Church, a.k.a. Winners’ Chapel in Ilorin on Tuesday. Chairman of the party, Alhaji Buhari Suleiman, who expressed the party’s feelings in a press state-
ment said: “The Congress for Compressive Change (CPC) Kwara State chapter hereby unequivocally condemns the criminal act of arson on a branch of the Living Faith Church, a.k.a. Winners’ Chapel at the checkpoint axis of the Ilorin International Airport by a few anarchists yesterday.” According to him, “We at the CPC firmly believe that no matter the gravity of the alleged provocation from
either side of the faith, the best approach should have been dialogue and peaceful mediation.” He added that: “The reaction of the few criminals, which obviously does not represent the peaceful and mature disposition of the good people of Kwara State to sensitive issues like religion and politics, is not only outrightly condemnable but especially worrisome.” The CPC, however, blamed the state govern-
ment for not proactive enough to nip the problem in the bud, leading to the ugly incident. “We are, however, of the firm conviction that this ugly incidence would have been avoidable had the PDP-led government in the state summoned the most needed will to objectively and dispassionately handle similar scenarios in the recent past.” The party, therefore, called on the state govern-
Cross section of cadets at the graduation ceremony of the Nigerian Defence Academy Cadets Course on Counter Terrorism Course 2 in Jaji, Kaduna PHOTO: NAN State, yesterday.
ment to ensure the protection “of lives and property of the people of the state against a few anarchists that are poised to shatter the tolerance and enviable peaceful co-existence among adherents of different faiths in the state, over the years. “It is not too late if the government puts forward concrete and enduring policy direction that will forestall a recurrent of this kind of menace of intolerance and religious discord in the state,” the party concluded. A branch of the Living Faith Church at the airport area in Ilorin was on Tuesday morning torched by arsonists following an alleged dispute on the ownership of the land on which the church building was erected. The church and the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) had complained at a press conference after the arson against the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, who they alleged have on three occasions, threatened the church over its building on the land.
‘Borno committed to payment Workers’ strike: NMA urges Jang to resolve impasse J A of counterpart funding’ INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
orno State Commissioner of InterGovernmental Affairs and Special Duties, Ishaku Shara, has said that the state government is committed to the payment of its counterpart funding as it has met its obligations to all the donor agencies in the state. He said the essence of the state’s commitment to such funding was to attract development to the state. The commissioner disclosed this at the end of the year inter-ministerial briefing held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Information, Musa Usman Secretariat, Maiduguri, yesterday. He said the state government has paid the backlog of counterpart funding to the NGOs and donor agencies from year 2009 to date, a feat he said, has attracted the return of many donor
agencies to the state. He said the ministry was created on September 2, 2011, as a collaborating ministry between the state government and donor agencies and even between other sister ministries for effective service delivery. He said the state government is also going to build a befitting office complex of international standard for the ministry in the year 2013, adding that the ministry has also attracted to the state many Federal Government agencies within the period. Shara said the ministry and the presidential panel on Boarder Communities Resettlement are working hard to convince Borno citizens staying near the border not to relocate to neigbouring countries like Chad, Cameroun and Niger Republic, by providing social infrastructure like hospital, schools and road networks.
he Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday said the ongoing strike by local government workers in Plateau State is not in the best interest of the state and urged Governor Jonah Jang to do everything possible to resolve the impasse. NMA was of the opinion that since labour had compromised on the Minimum Wage Law accepting 55 percent of what the law stipulated rather than 100 percent, government
should shift ground on its ‘no work no pay’ policy. In a statement issued after its emergency meeting in Jos yesterday, the NMA lamented the negative effect of the strike on the citizens, particularly the continued deterioration of the health indices as a result of the absence of routine immunisation an ante-natal care in the primary health care level in the state. The statement, which was signed by the state Chairman of the association, Dr Chris Yilgwan, further noted that the negative publicity generated by the state by this
impasse and the inflammable statement by government and her agents are capable of polarising the whole work force of the state. NMA also added that the Plateau State government must come to equity with clean hands as there are countless times that workers in the state diligently worked but had to wait for up to two, three months before receiving their salary, stressing that organised labour should maintain an open door policy toward the quick resolution of the industrial impasse in the state.
N9bn bond projects: Contractors promise to meet deadline PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
he contractors handling the N9 billion projects embarked upon by the Niger State government have promised to complete all projects under the bond in record time in accordance with the terms of agreement between them and the state government. Lead Construction Engineer, Mr. Momoh Abubakar, stated this while answering questions from journalists on the level of work done on the River Kaduna Bridge at Shiroro. The building of the bridge across River Kaduna is one of the projects the government embarked upon with the N9 billion facility it sourced from the open market for infrastructural projects across the state. According to him, “at the moment, all the firms handling various construction works on the bond projects have only nine months to complete the work, even if they have to work at night to ensure that they are completed. Abubakar continued: “Presently, we are establishing multiple commissions just to meet up with the pace of work, so that we can overcome the lost period. And with the speed we are going, we believe it will help us complete the projects in nine months.” On the River Kaduna Bridge, he explained that work on the bridge suffered some delay before takeoff due to the decision to revise the design from the original one as well as the agitations by the host community that was pressing for compensation of their land as host community.
Gombe to establish school of Islamic legal studies DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
ombe State Governor, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, yesterday said that the state government is planning to establish a school of Islamic legal studies in the state. He said the idea has been built into the 2013
budget that would soon be presented to the state House of Assembly. The governor said this while on his meet the people tour of the 24 state constituencies and the 114 electoral wards of the state. He also assured the people of Nafada Local Government Area that he was visiting has in its plan, all the challenges facing
the people. According to him, government works in such a way that all problems facing the people of the state could either be taken care of by the governor himself, the local government chairman or the councillor, as the case may be, except in situations where government officials are ignorant of what
they can handle.
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Beatrice Aina Akinwande
ir Vice Marshal Samuel Odesola was born in Wusasa, Zaria on February 9, 1952, but hails from Igbara Oke in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State. He attended the Sudan Interior Mission (SIM) Primary School, Malumfashi from 1959 to 1964. After his primary education, he proceeded to the Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1966 – 1970 and thereafter, joined the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) as a member of the 9th Regular Course in January 1971. Later, the same year, he was nominated to attend the Royal Air Force (RAF), Shawbury England for Air Traffic Control training. He was the best graduating Air Force Cadet in his Course and was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) as a 2/Lieutenant on June 30, 1973. Air Vice Marshal Odesola has served in various NAF and Tri-Service levels. Notable among them were: Air Traffic Control Officer (AG SATCO) in Kano
(1978-80), Company Instructor and 2Ic Mogadishu Company NDA (1982), Acting Commanding Officer (CO) NAF Wing NDA (1982 – 83), Deputy Defence Attache (DDA) to Cairo (1983 – 85), Staff Officer Training (SO1 Trg) HQ TC Kaduna (1986 – 88), Directing Staff (DS) at CSC Jaji Kaduna (1989 – 91), Director of Manuals (DOM) at HQ NAF 1991, Commander HQ NAF Camp Abuja (1991 – 94), Director of Works (DOW) at HQ NAF (1994 – 95) and Commander NAF Station Jos (1997 – 98). He was also the Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) HQ TC (1998 - 99), Director Air Defence and Ground Equipment (DADGE) HQ NAF (1999), Director of Operations (DOPS) at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) between Jul 99 – Dec 2000 and Acting Chief of Training Operation and Planning (Ag CTOP) DHQ (Dec 2000). He was appointed Commandant Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC) at Oshodi, Lagos from December 14, 2000 to May 24, 2001. He was appointed the Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command, Ikeja and later as the Air Officer Commanding the Training Command, Nigerian Air Force Kaduna, a post he held until he became the Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji on March 31 2003. He obtained the NDACE certificate in NDA in 1972 and in recognition of his many talents; he was awarded an honorary Doctorate Degree in Public Administration by the Cornerstone University of USA in 1994. He is survived by wife, Barrister Biobele Odesola and children.
avi Shankar was born in Varanasi on April 7, 1920 to a Bengali Brahmin family as the youngest of seven brothers and died on December 11, 2012. He was an Indian musician and composer who played the sitar, a plucked-string instrument. He was described as the bestknown contemporary Indian musician. At the age of 10, after spending his first decade in Varanasi, Shankar went to Paris with the dance group of his brother, choreographer Uday Shankar. By the age of 13 he had become a member of the group, accompanied its members on tour and learned to dance and play various Indian instruments. Uday’s dance group toured Europe and the United States of America in the early 1920 to mid-1930s and Shankar learned French, discovered Western classical music, jazz, cinema and became acquainted with Western customs. Shankar heard the lead musician for the Maihar court, Allauddin Khan, in December 1934 at a music conference in Kolkata and Uday convinced the Maharaja of Maihar in 1935 to allow Khan to become his group’s soloist for a tour of Europe. Shankar was sporadically trained by Khan on tour and Khan offered Shankar training to become a serious musician under the condition that he abandoned touring and come to Maihar. He gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court musician, Allauddin Khan. After finishing his studies in 1944, Shankar worked as a composer, creating the mu-
sic for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, and was music director of All India Radio, New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956. In 1956, he began to tour Europe and the Americas, playing Indian classical music and increased its popularity there in the 1960s through teaching, performance, and his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and rock artist, George Harrison of The Beatles. Shankar engaged Western music by writing concerti for sitar and orchestra and toured the world in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1986 to 1992 he served as a nominated member of the upper chamber of the Parliament of India. Shankar was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999, and received three Grammy Awards. In the 2000s, he won a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album for Full Circle: Carnegie Hall 2000 and toured with Anoushka, who released a book about her father, Bapi: Love of My Life, in 2002.
ama Beatrice Aina Akinwande passed on to glory on October 1, 2012, after a brief illness at the ripe age of 93. According to spokesman for the family, Idowu Akinwande, funeral service will commence by 10am tomorrow, 15th December 2012 at The Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity, Omofe, Ilesa Osun State. Interment follows at the church cemetery, General Hospital Road, Ilesa. She is survived by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
ir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore was born in Pinner in Middlesex on March 4, 1923 to Captain Charles Trachsel Caldwell-Moore who died in 1947and Gertrude, née White. His family moved to Bognor Regis and subsequently to East Grinstead where he spent his childhood. His youth was marked by heart problems, which left him in poor health and he was educated at home by private tutors. He developed an interest in astronomy at the age of six and joined the British Astronomical Association at the age of eleven. He was invited to run a small observatory in East Grinstead at the age of 14, after his mentor – who ran the observatory – was killed in a road accident. Moore was a former president of the British Astronomical Association, cofounder and former president of the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA), author of over 70 books on astronomy and presenter of the world’s longestrunning television series with the same original presenter, the BBC’s The Sky at Night. As an amateur astronomer, he became known as a specialist in Moon observation and for creating the Caldwell catalogue. Idiosyncrasies such as his rapid diction and monocle made him a popular and instantly recognisable figure on British television. Because of his long-running television career and eccentric demeanour, Moore was widely recognised and became a popular public figure. In 1976 it was used to good effect for an April Fools’ Day spoof on BBC Radio 2, when Moore announced a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event that meant that if
Madam Sariyu Oladeji
listeners could jump at that exact moment, 9.47 a.m. they would experience a temporary sensation of weightlessness. The BBC received many telephone calls from listeners alleging they experienced the sensation. He was a key figure in the establishment of the International Birdman event in Bognor Regis, which was initially held in Selsey. Moore appeared in other television and radio shows, including Just a Minute and, from 1992 until 1998, playing the role of GamesMaster in the television show of the same name: a character who professed to know everything there is to know about video gaming. He would issue video game challenges and answered questions on cheats and tips. Moore believed himself to be the only person to have met the first man to fly, Orville Wright, the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. He died at his West Sussex home on December 9, 2012.
he death has been announced of Madam Sariyu Tinubu Oladeji. Madam Oladeji was born into Opokiti family of Ijoka quarters in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital in the year 1910. She was a devout Moslem and a community leader whose contribution to the development of her area cannot be quantified. Though, she had no formal education, but she was a successful business woman and had widely travelled across Nigeria in the course of her business. She died at the ripe age of 102 and has been buried according to Islamic rites. She is survived by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Friday, December 14, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
I am not concerned about keeping my crown. I am concerned about the glory of African football
Obodo eyes Eagles’ chance
– REIGNING AFRICAN PLAYER, YAYA TOURE
Liberia petitions CAS again
Rivers State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi (left) and Nigeria Football Federation’s president, Alhaji Aminu Magiri, when the NFF delegation visited the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Amaechi, Abdullahi charge NFF at AGA EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
he Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has charged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to finally end the crisis rocking the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) before the new season kicks off. Abdullahi spoke just as the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, promised to support the NFF to actualise its mandate of developing Nigerian football. Addressing the Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the NFF held inside the Conference Hall of the Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, the Minister represented by a Director in his ministry, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba, asked the NFF to “conclusively resolve” all issues dragging the NPL back before the 2012/2013 season kicks off on February 16. “This crisis (in the NPL) will affect Nigerian football at all levels if it is not checked with immediate effect. The league is the heart and soul of football in any country and if there are negative issues surrounding it, it will affect that country’s football at all level,” said Abdullahi. “We are aware of all the issues surrounding the league including the absence of title sponsors and we are urging the NFF to see that the issues are all conclusively re-
solved before the kick-off date for the 2012/13 season.” Earlier during a courtesy visit to the Government House, Governor Amaechi told the NFF president, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and his delegation that he would do everything within his power to support the federation in its drive to promote the game in Nigeria. He congratulated the NFF for the qualification of the national teams for various international championships this year. “You may think you are not important in the nation, you are. If you see how many Nigerians sit down to watch our football matches you won’t believe it.
“I also congratulate you for the qualification of the other teams. What usually happens in Nigeria is even if other teams qualify and the Super Eagles don’t qualify, they don’t accept that we have qualified,” the governor said. Responding, the NFF boss thanked Amaechi for his initiative to build a modern office complex for football administration in Nigeria. He said, “Your Excellency, this is just a thank you visit to come and appreciate you, what you are doing for Nigeria Football... You are building a football house for the Nigeria Football Federation which has never been done in the history of football in Nigeria.”
NFF may decide on NPL players AFOLABI GAMBARI
ndication emerged yesterday as the Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) commenced in Port Harcourt, Rivers State that future composition of the Super Eagles may favour players in the Nigeria Premier League than their Europe-based counterparts. National Mirror gathered from a competent source at the NFF that a proposal from the Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, on the subject was due to be considered by the Technical Committee of the federation ahead of a move that is aimed to effect a wholesome reorganisation of the national team. “Keshi has his game-plan from day
one of his appointment and he has demonstrated his preference for players in the domestic league in his plan to build a sustainable team,” the source said. “The fact that no coach in recent history has given home-based players so much hope of playing in the Eagles as Keshi points the way to a new beginning and he is determined to pursue it to a logical conclusion.” Keshi had earlier in the week expressed concern over the home-based players’ chance at making his final squad for the Nations Cup 2013 in South Africa due to the non-kick off of the Premier League. Interestingly, National Mirror learnt that Eagles’ participation at the Afcon will dominate proceeding at the Port Harcourt assembly.
iberia has re-filed its case against the Confederation of African Football’s presidential election rule changes with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Last month, CAS said it could not rule on the original case as it had been submitted too early. But Liberia FA chief, Musa Bility, says his body has chosen to forego an appeal with CAF, despite CAS instructions. “If we waited for the CAF appeal process to take place, it would cause irreparable damage,” said Bility. Bility says that any appeal would not be heard until CAF’s next General
Assembly in March 2013, the same meeting when the presidential election is due to hold.. On November 30, CAS said it was unable to get involved as it recognised CAF’s own internal appeals procedure, which must be followed before any bid to the Switzerlandbased legal sporting body. The LFA has chosen to formally lodge its disapproval with CAF instead, protesting over the changes to the confederation’s statutes that took effect in September - which effectively meant that only current incumbent, Issa Hayatou, could contest the presidential election in March.
Super Eagles celebrating their qualification for the AFCON.
… As CAF, Nissan sign AFCON pact AFOLABI GAMBARI
utomobile company, Nissan, was yesterday unveiled as the exclusive partner of the Africa Cup of Nations competition in 2013 and 2015 According to a statement by CAF, the sponsorship agreement is aimed at covering the South Africa 2013 and Morocco 2015 editions of the competition. “Nissan will benefit of a large exposure and associated rights and opportunities during and in connection with such events, in view of supporting its growth in Af-
rica and especially in South Africa and Morocco,” the statement said. Meanwhile, CAF President, Issa Hayatou, has said that the football body is delighted to associate with the automobile company in the quest to revolutionise the commercialisation of African football. Executive Vice President of Nissan Motors Company, Andy Palmer, has also expressed the company’s determination to at ensuring a successful partnership with the Nations Cup which he described as the fourth largest sporting event in the world.
Friday, December 14, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Eko 2012 fallout: Judo boss fetes athletes AFOLABI GAMBARI
hairman of the Edo State Judo Association, Chief Francis Aghedo, has hosted the state’s judokas who won four out of the 14 available gold medals at the recent National Sports Festival in Lagos. The association boss, who feted the athletes and officials at his residence in Benin City yesterday with Edo State Sports Council officials, members of the business community and well wishers in attendance, said his gesture was aimed at honouring the state’s representatives for what he described as their exciting performance at Eko 2012. “Winning four gold out of 14 in an event where 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory participated was no small achievement,” Aghedo said. “I am very proud of the impact you made at the sports festival and on our part, we will ensure that you go all the way to
win a medal at the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” the administrator added. He, however, enjoined Corporate Nigeria to sponsor budding athletes to enable them to maximize their potential. “The era where sports development is left to the government alone to cater for is long gone and
we must adopt this practice as is obtained in many countries,” Aghedo counseled. Chief Coach of the Edo Judo Association, Edmond Borha, who spoke at the reception, commended Aghedo’s philanthropic gestures over the years and pledged the athletes’ commitment to excellence.
…Niger gold winners get jobs PRISCILLA DENNIS ABUJA
he government of Niger State has awarded automatic jobs to all its athletes that won gold medals at the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos for their improvement on previous position at the Rivers 2011 edition. Niger State was represented by 163 athletes who participated in 19 events and hauled four gold, two silver and five bronze medals to end 16th in the final medals table. Commissioner for Sports, Al-
haji Hassan Abubakar, who announced the reward in Minna yesterday, said it was the government’s gesture at acknowledging the athletes’ effort at the Eko 2012 event. “We have resolved to encourage athletes and ensure that their medal-winning zeal is maintained till 2014 when we go to Cross River State to compete again,” Abubakar explained. Abubakar, who said the state’s resolve to take fewer athletes to Lagos yielded positive result, lauded the representatives for what he called a wonderful performance.
Edo State Judo Association Chairman, Chief Francis Aghedo (m), is flanked by judokas and officials at the reception
NSC bans 6 athletes for life YEMI OLUS
he National Sports Commission (NSC) has clamped down on some athletes and states that flouted rules and regulations of the recent National Sports Festival (NSF) hosted by Lagos State. A statement by National Sports Commission’s Director of Press, Tony Ohaeri, said yesterday that the Main Organising Committee of Eko 2012 had ratified the decision. Among those who got life bans include Oladele Ojo also known as Alaba Joseph, Olubunmi Olamide also known as Olubunmi Olayemi,
Olubunmi Ademiloye Emman and Ademisoye Olamide all from Ekiti State. “They are also banned from participating in any event organised by the Hockey Federation of Nigeria for two years for violating the eligibility rule of the sports festival,” the statement said. Lagos State representative in the judo event, Jide Daniel, also got life ban for flouting the rule which stipulated that any athlete who has participated in three previous festivals in a particular sport shall not be eligible to participate in that same sport. He was also banned from participating in any event organised by the Judo
Federation for the period of two years. The NSC hammer also fell on Team Enugu’s Peace Onu who changed her identity for the purpose of participating in the football event of the festival in breach of rule 7 of the NSF statutes and was banned for life as well as from participating in any event organised by Nigeria Football Federation for two years. Each of the affected states was fined N100, 000 while their head coaches and state secretaries of the affected sport were suspended from participating in one NSF and any other programmes of the federation for the same period.
Late Sunday Bada
Athletics world misses Bada –Ogunkoya YEMI OLUS
year after former national athlete and Technical Director of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) Sunday Bada passed on, his former colleague, Falilat Ogunkoya-Omotayo, has described his absence as “deeply felt”. The late Bada was Nigeria’s most decorated athlete having won three medals at the World Indoor Championships (1993 and 1995) including gold in 1997 amongst others. He was also part of the Nigerian team that won the silver medal in 4 x 400 metres relay at the 2000 Olympics which has been upgraded to gold. Nigeria established a national record time of 2:58.68 minutes in that race. He set his personal best of 44.63 secs at the 1993 World Championships where he finished fifth which is the second fastest time by a Nigerian sprinter, after Innocent Egbunike’s best of 44.17 secs.
“Bada was very passionate about track and field and there are so many things going on that wouldn’t have happened if he was around,” OgunkoyaOmotayo, who is one of the best female quartermilers Nigeria has produced, told National Mirror yesterday. “He fought for people in the sport and gave money to athletes who had nothing to train with. We in the athletics world here in Nigeria miss him sorely; he was a good man but his family will surely miss him most.” Ogunkoya-Omotayo, however, called on the government to celebrate Nigeria’s heroes while they are still alive. “You do not have to wait until something adverse happens to them. That is what the Americans do and we should celebrate your own because that will motivate the upcoming athletes to represent the country,” she submitted. Sunday Bada died on December 12, 2011 after suddenly taking ill and was survived by his wife, Sumbo, and three children.
Ogun pays N30, 000 for gold
he Ogun State government yesterday paid a total of N1.2m to all its medal winners at the 18th National Sports Festival, tagged “Eko 2012” that ended last Sunday in Lagos. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the gesture was in fulfilment of its pledge to Team Ogun before the Games that medal winners will be rewarded on return. Fifteen gold medallists got N30, 000 each, amounting to N450, 000, while 22 silver medallists were rewarded N20, 000 each, totalling N440, 000.
The 31 bronze medallists were awarded N10, 000 each which summed up to N310, 000. The Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Olugbenga Otenuga, said the gesture was a way of thanking the athletes for doing the state proud. Otenuga said it was also to encourage others to make effort to benefit from such gesture in the nearest future. He praised the athletes for giving their best and noted that many of them were grassroots athletes discovered during the recent State Grassroots Games.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Friday, December 14, 2012
Wi Window on Nigerian players abroad
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Okwuosa tipped for greatness
hippa United Nigerian central defender James Okwuosa has been tipped for greatness by his agent Mohammed Lawal who has projected that the player would be one of the most sought after defenders in near future. Okwuosa has been in terrific form for the newly-promoted side this season, keeping things very tight at the rear as the Chilly Boys continue to fight for survival among the top guns. The former Enugu Rangers captain who arrived in the summer, posted superb outing in their famous goaless draw against Orlando Pirates two weeks ago, to earn top rating for himself from the local press. Originally packaged to sign for Ajax Cape Town, but switched over to the newly-
promoted side after failing to get a work permit following the filling of the foreigner’s quota, Okwuosa has become a startling revelation for the new boys. Lawal rates his player very high and confidently predicts that top spenders will soon queue to grab his signature in near future. “Okwuosa has really done well this season and I’m very impressed with his performance,” Lawal praised. “I knew he was a rare gem when I saw him play for Lobi Stars and lately Rangers and I didn’t waste time to propose him for Ajax Cape Town. “But it has turned out to be a super bargain buy for Chippa United. His best is yet to come and the world will stand up for him very soon.
Olajengbesi shines in club’s gloom Kenneth Obodo (left) in a match for his team
Obodo eyes Eagles’ chance
rosetto of Italy midfielder Kenneth Obodo says he’s ripe enough to be given a chance to prove himself in the Super Eagles’ team. Obodo, the younger brother of former Eagles’ midfielder, Christian, who has been in top form for the Serie B side, believes he has really stepped out of his elder brother’s shadows to grab headlines for himself and reckons it’s high time he grabbed the attention of the Eagles handlers. Obodo has played all the 17 games for the bottom-placed side this season and has been hailed as one of the best midfielders in the second tier of Italian football so much that a lot of top clubs have made enquiries about him for a possible acquisition. The former Pisa star was close to making his bow for the Samson Siasia-led Flying Eagles team to the U-20 World Cup in Holland seven years ago but couldn’t make it because, according to him, he was working hard to tie down a permanent shirt at his new club. “I’m now fully set to show what I can do with the Super Eagles because I have really done well to deserve a place,” Obodo told National Mirror. “People have wondered why I haven’t followed in my elder brother’s footsteps to play for
my country, but I have always told them I would do my things my own way. “Christian had a great time with the Eagles and it was a good example for me because of the attention it attracted to me. “I’m doing very well for my team even though we’re at the bottom of the table. We were docked eight points at the begin-
ning of the season as punishment for some irregularities. “Things wouldn’t have been this bad for us because we would ordinarily have been somewhere in the mid-table. “But personally, it’s been great for me and I think I could be on the way anytime because some bigger clubs are making enquiries.”
Fenerbahce keeps tab on Eneramo
eports emanating from the German media indicate that Sivaspor Nigerian striker Michael Eneramo is on the wish list of Turkey giants Fenerbahce in the January transfer market. The former Lobi Stars striker has been in superb goal scoring form this season to spark some interests from top-spending Fenerbache. The former Esperance skipper has received an interesting offer from the leadership of The Yellow Canaries which he is studying. It was also reported that Sivasspor, where the 27 - year - old attacker is under contract till the end of the 2012 - 2013 season, have given their green-light. Eneramo confirmed the Fenerbache interest to National Mirror but maintained there was nothing concrete so far. He could be joining
his compatriot and Eagles captain Joseph Yobo should the interest see the light of the day. He was almost on his way to Trabzonspor in the summer but the club failed to meet the personal terms of the Kaduna-born striker. The Nigeria international also has suitors in Tunisia. Esperance and Club Africain are in a two way battle to lure him back to the Tunisian capital in the winter market. Esperance president had earlier invited their former hero early this year with the possibility of luring their hero back to Tunis but it didn’t pick. The Tunisian giants only rekindled the interest again this winter transfer. Eneramo’s market value is about two million euros. He has scored 20 goals in 48 matches for Sivasspor in the Turkish topflight.
lemannia Aachen of Germany Nigerian defender Seyi Olajengbesi says he’s enjoying his game at the rear despite his club’s not too impressive performance in the third tier of Germany football. The former Julius Berger star has played 18 games out of 21 fixtures in the league this season and has been hailed as one of the most consistent defenders by the German press this season. Olajengbesi is spending his fifth season with the club that has suffered some misfortunes that saw them drop to the lower rungs. Alemannia, which had two Nigerians in the ranks in the past, originally campaigned in the top flight of German football but were unfortunate to find themselves in the third tier following loss of form occasioned by the departure of some key players. Olajengbesi arrived from SC
Freiburg with the confidence that he would propel the relegated side back to Bundesliga 1 but the club continued their downward plunge. Olajengbesi has however continued to shine in the club’s gloom. He notched up 31 games last season despite his club dropping to the lower rungs. “It hasn’t been easy for my club this season but personally, it’s been a great season so far for them,” he said. “We have suffered some ups and downs over the years but that has not stopped from getting on with my game and I’m happy about that. “I started this season on a great note just like I did last season and I’m prepared to continue doing my best. “I have played all my pro life in Germany and I’m happy to have taken my game here because a lot has changed in my game.”
First radio broadcast of the Olympics Vol. 02 No. 513
Friday, December 14, 2012
In the early 1920s, radio technology had developed to the point where large-scale public broadcasts were becoming increasingly common. The 1924 Games held in Paris subsequently became the first to transmit live radio broadcasts of Olympic events.
Kidnappers’ eyes now on the ‘trillions’
he report credited to the Campaign for Democracy (CD) last weekend that kidnapping has become so lucrative a business in the South-East geopolitical zone that successful kidnappers rake in an average of N750 million monthly, coincided with the abduction, last Sunday of Prof. Kamene Okonjo, the 82-year-old mother of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi OkonjoIweala, from her Ogwashi-Uku home in Aniocha South Local Government Area, just a few kilometers from Asaba, the Delta State capital, which shares boundaries with Onitsha, the popular commercial city in Anambra State. From the simple arithmetic that CD did, an average of five persons get kidnapped on monthly basis in each of the five states in the South East namely: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo; and each victim pays between N30 million and N20 million to regain freedom, which roughly
inner of the Tour de France and the London Olympic time-trial champion, Bradley Wiggins, has been named Sportsman of the Year by the Sports Journalists Association of Britain. Wiggins, who is the first Briton to triumph in cy-
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email@example.com 08164966858 (SMS only) amounts to N150 million per state. Before Aba, the foremost commercial city in Abia State, was rescued over a year ago from the ruthless siege of kidnappers, the latter reportedly demanded as low as N2,000 (Two Thousand Naira Only) to set free their captives, while domestic animals, including goats and fowls, were at the risk of being kidnapped. Consequently, the reality for long is that kidnapping has become a thriving business in the land; robustly nurtured by the failings of the country’s criminal justice system that lacks the nerves to punish even those caught in the act. Complicating the boldness and heartlessness of kidnappers are unending reports of frauds, rapacious stealing and general corrupt practices in government, all flying in the face of mass unemployment and the accompanying grinding poverty, hardship, frustration, desperation and general insecurity. The case of the finance minister’s mother appears not different, except that the kidnappers’ ransom levels have changed, with their eyes now on trillions of naira. Some reports said they demanded $1 billion from the Okonjo family. Besides, the axis from where the minister’s mother was forcefully taken is not only in Delta State, which is quite notorious for kidnapping as well, but is contiguous to the South-East states where the vice seems more rampant. But beyond the precipitate measures of the Inspector-General of Police, MD Abuba-
UDUAGHAN... WAS QUOTED AS SAYING THAT THE RETURN OF THE POLICE OFFICER COINCIDED WITH THE RESURGENCE OF CASES OF KIDNAPPING kar, like querying the Delta State Commissioner of Police over the sad incident, flooding of the country home of the Okonjos with all manner of security operatives after the kidnappers had gone, or the purported relocation of Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Udughan, to Ogwashi-Uku, the kidnap of Okonjo-Iweala’s mum has again drawn attention to reports, early in the year, that a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who once headed the Delta State Anti-kidnapping Squad, was arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the criminal activities of kidnappers in the state. Governor Uduaghan who broke the news in Warri, had claimed that the police officer was nabbed after some self-confessed kidnappers kept mentioning a certain ‘chairman’ as their boss; and investigations eventually showed that the head of the state’s anti-kidnapping outfit was that ‘chairman’ of the kidnappers’ gangs. Not long after, however, the
Sport Extra Cycling: Wiggins claims Britain’s top award cling’s most famous tour, topped the poll of journalists ahead of double Olympic middle-distance gold medal winner Mo Farah and US Open tennis champion Andy Murray, both
whom have brought fame to Britain in the outgoing year. London Games heptathlon winner, Jessica Ennis, captured the Sportswoman award for the third time in four years, having polled
two-thirds of the votes cast, in addition to winning the Pat Besford Trophy for the outstanding performance of the year. Olympic rowing gold medallist, Katherine
‘chairman’, who was arrested and flown to Abuja, was let off the hook, and was retained in the Delta State Police Command, a development that shell- shocked Governor Uduaghan and members of the Delta State House of Assembly. The IGP reportedly said the Police found no incriminating evidence against the indicted policeman, and had challenged anybody with evidence to the contrary to come forward. Uduaghan, on the other hand, was quoted as saying that the return of the police officer coincided with the resurgence of cases of kidnapping in the state, and insisted that the matter be revisited and thoroughly investigated. For its part, the state House of Assembly accused the Chairman, Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Parry Osayande, as the unseen hand behind the unconditional freedom of the suspected police officer, whom they claimed was the PSC chairman’s in-law. The lawmakers pleaded with President Goodluck Jonathan to compel the IGP to reopen the case. As the security agencies again wallow in the dark, as usual, in search of the kidnappers of the aged mother of the finance minister, Uduaghan should lead the agitation for the reopening of investigation into his claims against the suspected former boss of the Delta State Anti-kidnapping Squad, if the governor is sure of his facts. There can be no better time to revisit the sensitive allegation. Nevertheless, battling crime without addressing the root causes behind criminality - joblessness, poverty and destitution, deprivations, etc.; backed by massive stealing and fraud in government and an unreliable criminal justice system that fails to punish big time criminals, is like living in the proverbial fool’s paradise. The ‘rich man in his castle, poor man at his gate’ approach to managing Nigeria and its economy will continue to breed disappointment, discontent, violence and instability.
Grainger, emerged runnerup ahead of double Games cycling champion Laura Trott. Europe’s Ryder Cup golfers were the runaway winners of the team of the year title after retaining the trophy in the United States in September.
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